March 26, 2014 Articles

Ten Tips to Building an Appellate Practice

By Laurie Webb Daniel

What follows are some reflections on what has helped me build my appellate practice. Although my thoughts are presented in a “Ten Tips” format, there is no magic in the sequence of these suggestions. I am sure there are other equally helpful points that can be made, but this approach has worked for me.

1. Construct a formal business plan. I remember someone asking me in the 1990s where (or what) I wanted to be in 10 years. My response was immediate. I wanted to be known as a top appellate lawyer. I had not really focused on how I would get there, though. It later occurred to me that a road map would be a good idea. So I developed a formal business plan that included a number of action items, some of which are described below. I then made a point of revisiting my written business plan periodically. These self-imposed report cards helped me move toward my goal.

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