February 14, 2011 Articles

Avoiding Common Pitfalls: Tips For Young Lawyers

Here is a list of bits of wisdom that have been accumulated from a number of wise lawyers over time and, unfortunately, from some of the things we learned the hard way.

By Betsy P. Collins, Ian Fisher, and Kent Lambert

Although experience is the best teacher, it is also the hardest teacher. In our profession, the things you just know cold most likely are the ones you learned the hard way through your own mistakes. You also tend to remember the lessons learned from commiserating with your best buddies when they were the ones with the bad experiences. And then there are always the things that you read about over the years in the newspaper, the bar journal, or some legal tabloid. From these lessons learned, old battle axes have a reservoir of useful information about what to do and not to do to avoid the common and sometimes uncommon pitfalls in our line of work. Seasoned lawyers often try to pass down words of wisdom to younger lawyers in the hope that the young ones will be able to avoid some of the headaches we have experienced. What follows is a list of these bits of wisdom that have been accumulated from a number of wise lawyers over time and, unfortunately, from some of the things we learned the hard way.

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