Even the most organized professionals in the most organized office can slip up. But if you adhere to the rules as closely as possible, you won't spend sleepless hours tossing and turning over the 5,000 possible locations of Mr. Smith's file in your office.
The lifeblood of any practicing law office is obviously the clients. Just as no business could function without customers, no law firm could survive without clients. No matter how you want to look at it, clients are customers.
Unless complexities of the case or personalities of the clients demand special attention, the attorney or attorneys in your office may speak to clients only a few times over the course of the case. You, on the other hand, may need to speak to the clients constantly, updating them on various matters and advising them of deadlines, appearances, and any progress made in the case. Moreover, since the client's attorney is usually busy with other matters, you may have to take on the role of "point man" for most attorney-client conversations and correspondence.
You've no doubt realized this last part can be very draining, both physically and mentally. Each client expects superior service from your law firm. Each client truly believes his or her case should be the most important one in the office. Furthermore, each client feels that his or her phone calls should be answered promptly by someone who can give a detailed status report or at least some words of comfort about the entire procedure. In short, each client expects to receive special treatment from his or her attorney.
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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
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Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.