Essential Tips For All Lawyers

David Schwinger DCBeing a successful lawyer does not come easy. You have to know how to be independent and carry-out strong business practices throughout your career in law, regardless of what stage you are currently in. In order to keep both your fellow colleagues motivated, clients satisfied, and practice powerful, follow these essential tips:

First, you should consider running your law practice like any other successful business. According to an article published by CBA.org, a website dedicated to best practices for lawyers:

“You are a service-provider and clients should always get great service from anyone who answers the phone, sends a package, emails an opinion, or duplicates documents. Every member of your firm should be trained to service the client and it’s imperative the firm’s leaders and partners embody this attitude as an example to all,” (Van Dyke, 50 Essential Business Tips for Every Lawyer).

Everyone who is affiliated with your firm should be well-educated in law, and the should have strong client-communication skills. Even if the legal situation is rough, clients who speak with employees that are helpful, smart, and have clear communication throughout their interactions with clients are the most beneficial for any firm.

That being said, another great piece of advice for all lawyers is to surround yourself with the lawyers who keep you on your feet in a positive way. If you are in a position to hire employees to work at a firm, make sure they are highly motivated and bright so that they can shine throughout their career with you. Your law firm should have ongoing training programs for all employees, no matter how long they’ve been working with you. In addition, you should always make sure that the firm recognizes great work and rewards those who show they can do their job exceptionally well. Always reward great employees – you don’t want to lose them!

Furthermore, you should always strive to motivate and empower your team. According to CBA.org, “Every member of your firm can make an important contribution to the firm and its clients. Ensure each person understands his or her role and has the authority to fulfill that responsibility, plus a little bit more,” (Van Dyke, 50 Essential Business Tips for Every Lawyer).

Last, be kind and keep moving forward. People who you work with will always remember how you made them feel, even if the outcome of your case didn’t go as planned. Be a good listener and be understanding to what both clients and fellow employees may need from you. In addition, always keep the practice moving, especially if people seem to be stuck in a rut. Always ask questions like, “What should we do next?” and make affirmative statements like, “Let’s get going!” this way, everyone who surrounds you will feed off of your positive, enforcing energy so that daily tasks can be kept up with and even made in advanced.

Nobody ever said being a lawyer was easy, but there are ways that you can make a difference in your law firm and act as a supporting figure that everyone can look up to. Having passion and showing people you care are what make a lawyer great.

5 Jobs You Can Have With a Law Degree

David SchwingerIf you are a student who is thinking about going to law school to become a lawyer, you should be aware of the many options that law degrees open up for employment. A law degree will not only prepare you for a future in law, but it will prepare you for a variety of other job opportunities that you may also want to consider, especially since the job market for lawyers is extremely competitive. Here are five jobs you can obtain with a degree in law other than becoming a lawyer:

First, as you may have noticed, many politicians (including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) who have a degree in law but pursued a career in government and politics. So, if you’ve ever had a yearn to dive into the world of politics, this is a great option for you.

Next, there are many ways for you to get involved with finance and banking. According to an article published by Forbes Magazine:

“There are certain fields where a law degree certainly couldn’t hurt such as estates, tax and small business. Even if you don’t want to practice law in the finance sector and prefer to deal with the money, having one can help since finance does require legal knowledge,” (Nine Jobs You Can Do With a Law Degree).

Especially if you have a knack for numbers, using your legal knowledge can be extremely beneficial when it comes to obtaining a career in finance.

Third, journalism or writing is another great career option for those who have law degrees. Not only can you publish books and articles pertaining to law, but if you went to law school, you probably have better writing skills than most people, since writing effectively and clearly is one of the most important aspects of being a lawyer.David Schwinger

Though you do not need a degree to become an entrepreneur, the work ethic and habits that you formed in law school have set you up to do anything you want as a business leader. According to Forbes Magazine:

“Of course you don’t need a degree to be an entrepreneur but Jacqueline Dinsmore went from working as a corporate lawyer for one of the largest firms in Canada and then as the Assistant General Counsel for the Toronto Star to founding Luvali Convertibles. Dinsmore credits her degree for helping her understand and negotiate contracts related to her business,” (Nine Jobs You Can Do With a Law Degree).

So put your education to the test and try starting a company stemming from one of your passions – you’ll be surprised how articulate and organized you really are after law school.

Finally, you should think about getting involved with as an advocate for public interest. With this career choice, you can use the overwhelming amount of knowledge you gained throughout law school in order to influence policy decisions.

At the end of the day, you should do what appeals to you most with your law degree. There are many options for you to pursue a career in something you feel passionate for, but always take the time to think about what it really is that you want to do.

 

Tips for Writing a Legal Article

Writing a legal article that will actually get read takes a lot of skill and commitment. But, with the right mindset and advice, it can be done in a way that will be appreciated by your audience and shared amongst your peers. Most lawyers write articles that summarize a specific case, propose a point, and explain various concepts or other useful information that will be placed in a firm’s resources for its clients. Here are some key tips for producing a legal article that is informative, engaging, and read:

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First, and perhaps the most important rule of thumb, is know your audience. Before you even finalise what topic you will be writing about, considering your audience should be at the top of your list. It is vital to know both who they are and what they know. Many writers create a person in their head (also called an avatar) based on someone who would be part of the audience they are writing for. A notable Lawyer blog entitled, Tips for Lawyers, gives an example of creating an audience member in your head for when you are writing a legal article:

“Jane is a 34 year old mother of two, she works full time and her kids stay with her parents during the day. Her husband is away often working for a mining company. Jane doesn’t have a lot of spare time, but needs to stay up to date to ensure she manages her business well,” (8 Requirements for Writing a Legal Article That Will Get Read).

Notice how detailed the writer is about the person that represents its audience so he or she can know exactly who their audience is – the more detailed, the better.

Another important factor to consider when writing a legal article is the headline, which should inform your audience why they care about the topic you are writing on. Your headline should be interesting and detailed, not boring and uninformative like “Court Update,” or “Law News.” Keep in mind, you should avoid headlines that are too fancy and clever, because then you’ll just be causing a lot of unwanted confusion for your audience members. If your audience cannot understand the headline of your article, chances are they will have no interest in actually reading it.

Investing time in your opening sentence is vital for writing an article that will actually be read and recognized. According to Tips for Lawyers:

“Your opening sentence MUST align with your headline and your extract – they need to tell the same story, but not in the same way. The opening sentence should offer enough about the article that the person wants to read the rest. It should not contain the answer to the question, the benefit you offered, or anything else that means there is no need to read the rest of the article,” (8 Requirements for Writing a Legal Article That Will Get Read).

Another tip for writing a great opening sentence is to avoid mentioning case names, legislation, or other topics that will bore your audience out of their mind.

Lastly, images. Make sure their are images in your article and make sure they are relevant. It’s as simple as that. For more tips on how to write an intriguing legal article, check out Tips for Lawyers’ article here.