We Were All Young Lawyers Once

Survivor Tips

Roberta Tepper
The best and most impressive law school education cannot fully prepare you for your life in the practice of law.

The best and most impressive law school education cannot fully prepare you for your life in the practice of law.

gradyreese via iStock

No matter how long you’ve been practicing, every lawyer will remember one or two experiences they had as a new lawyer. Some of those memories will be of moments of triumph, some unexpectedly positive moments. But some of the memories, even many years later, make us cringe–they were those moments we’d love to be able to recall, edit and re-do.

But, now comes the good news, young lawyers. We were all in your shoes once, and many, hopefully, most of us, have come through those early years wiser (yes, older too, but we won’t talk about that now). We’ve had experiences, good and bad, and learned lessons that we then honed over years of practice. While as a newer lawyer you may be weary of hearing about “the olden days” or “the golden days” of law practice sometime between 10 and 50 years ago.

But trust me, we’ve learned some lessons that will be helpful. In speaking to lawyers just starting out in their practice who come to Practice 2.0, our practice management advice program at the State Bar of Arizona, some common themes have emerged—some issues or concerns they have more times than not. What follows are what I hope will be helpful tips for navigating those first few years of your practice.

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