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You owe a duty to clients to stay informed of changes in the law. But as a young lawyer it’s tough enough to learn the “ins and outs” of a particular area or even multiple areas of law. How can you also stay on top of everything that is changing? It is important as a young lawyer to establish good habits now to ensure that you constantly keep abreast of developments in the law.
Here are some helpful tips on how you can stay up-to-date:
Sign up for newsletters issued by the attorney admissions agencies and national, state, and local bar associations in your jurisdiction and other jurisdictions in which you practice.
Learn what RSS feeds are available and how to subscribe to them. Many websites now publish RSS feeds, which can be delivered automatically to a designated folder in your e-mail inbox. Jurist, through the University of Pittsburgh, and JD Supra are two great examples of legal news databases that publicize updates in various areas of law through RSS feeds. Find available RSS feeds in your practice areas and subscribe to those feeds.
Put reminders on your calendar to check relevant federal and state administrative agencies for news at least once a month.
Input and keep updated your information on professional networking websites, and capitalize on other good opportunities to introduce yourself as an attorney within your practice areas. Meeting and networking with other lawyers, especially experienced lawyers, will help you get up to speed on your practice areas and their new developments.
Attend CLEs focusing on your practice areas to learn more about substantive law and related developments, as well as to network.
Probably the hardest part of keeping up to speed on legal developments will be finding time in your busy day to actually read up on recent developments in the law. A best practice is to make a daily habit of spending at least 15 minutes every day reading legal news. 15 minutes is short enough not to significantly cut into your day, but long enough to scan headlines and find relevant articles that you can print or save and read later.
Never underestimate the power of being fully informed in your practice areas. Take the extra time each day to learn something in order to beat your adversaries to the punch. Your clients will thank you for it!
About the Author
Lindsey Bierzonski is an associate at Artell Law Group in Harrisburg, PA. She practices labor and employment law, and can be reached at email@example.com.