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» Entries tagged with "practice"

Forgettable Advice

A stranger sent me this email a few days ago: Hi, I’m not sure if you can help me, but thought you could possibly point me in the right direction. Would you be able to suggest two or three sources (books, articles, website, people) that were helpful when you were starting out in your legal practice? I’m a recent graduate of [better law school than I went to] and I’m working on a research paper on starting up as a solo practitioner or small law firm. Any help you could provide would be very graciously appreciated. Maybe I’m a sucker and am wasting my time, but I try to respond to everything that hits my inbox. That includes a fair amount of stuff that may be spam or just lazy people hoping I can do a … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Practice in General

Practicing Like a Performance

Roy Black wrote yesterday about practice. He discussed Steve Jobs and his obsession with preparation and practice, compulsively rehearsing for every presentation in order to make it look effortless. This is one of Roy’s suggestions for practicing: Take notes as you practice, stop immediately when you notice a mistake or an uncomfortable moment and correct it. Analyze and re-analyze your presentation as you go. Make staging notes like cutting down on time on certain parts, and how to enunciate tricky words and phrases. It strikes me that what Roy describes is certainly an important aspect of practice, but it’s really only half of one part of the big picture of effective preparation. Although I’m sure he does it in his own preparation, in his post, he never really explains … Read entire article »

Filed under: Trial

Taking a Vacation

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things after the longest vacation I’ve taken since I began practicing law. From planning the vacation, to preparing for it, to actually taking the time off and trying to enjoy myself, the experience taught me quite a bit. It drove home a lot of points about the nature of what I do. I should never view any non-work-related plans as concrete. As hard as that’s been for me to swallow, with my current practice, I know that it’s true. I represent a fair number of clients each year, and at any given time, many of their cases are at very different stages. I’m never at a point where I have no clients, so there’s always somebody who’s my … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Practice in General, Solo Practice

Preparing for Trial

I spent a good bit of my weekend preparing for trial. It’s a draining experience, though not nearly as draining as trial itself. This particular trial has very high stakes. My client’s earliest release date will be more than seventy years from now if he’s convicted. Being able to speak in public, knowing the facts of the case, and understanding the rules of evidence are rarely enough to effectively try a case. There are countless variables in almost any trial, and anything can happen. Every trial I’ve done has taught me that one of the most important skills a trial lawyer can have is the ability to predict problems that might arise and prepare accordingly. My background is in music. In music, you do your best … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General, Trial

The Court's Mistakes

Imagine a case where the prosecution and defense reach an agreement by the first pretrial conference. At that pretrial, the defendant enters a change of plea in front of a judge who sets the matter for sentencing. The defendant, who is in custody, will be released at sentencing if things go according to plan, and all of the parties involved are extremely satisfied with the result. At sentencing, the judge can’t find the plea in the file. The court, on its own, continues the matter for a brief period of time. However, at the next sentencing, the court still has not found the plea. Another brief continuance. At the next sentencing, when the defense attorney tries to take issue with parts of the probation officer’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General

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