The Importance of Asking "Why?"

Meredith E. Carpenter
Understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing can give you meaning and purpose; it can also make you feel more fulfilled and engaged.

Understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing can give you meaning and purpose; it can also make you feel more fulfilled and engaged.

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As a new lawyer, you often don’t have much control over the work you’re given. You’re expected to help out a wide range of people at your firm, and you’re frequently pulled into ongoing client matters to work on discrete tasks without having much involvement in those matters before the assignment. To complete those assignments successfully (and get repeat work), it’s important to ask why you’re being asked to do them. When you know why you’re doing something, you can produce work that accurately addresses the issue at hand and adds value by anticipating other issues that may also relate to the matter. Here are some tips and suggestions on when and how to ask why as you undertake legal assignments:

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