All newly minted litigators are, to varying degrees, intimidated by the litigation and advocacy process. Regardless of one’s exposure to litigation in law school trial advocacy courses, advice from professors and seasoned attorneys, and even time spent as a trial court clerk, nothing truly prepares a law school graduate for real world lawyering. As a young family law attorney with six years of litigation experience, I can personally attest that the first few years of practice can be nerve-wracking, demanding, humbling, and empowering, marked by character-building highs and lows.
I have compiled several suggestions and pieces of advice I wish I had been given when I first started practicing. This article is not meant to be an exhaustive checklist of all qualities of successful young attorneys; I certainly do not have all the answers, and I expect that my recommendations will evolve throughout the years as I encounter new challenges. It is my hope, however, that the suggestions below will provide a bit of guidance to aspiring litigators as they transition to a career in the courtroom.