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Worry Not, Young Lawyer

When I got my first job as a personal injury attorney I worried about everything. Did the email I wrote sound dumb? Was my research sufficient? Did the Judge understand my argument? Did I look like someone who knew what she was talking about? 

Looking back, I realize I wasted so much time worrying about silly things that ultimately didn’t matter. They were more important in my mind than in anyone else’s mind. So, here are some of the lessons that took me a while to learn. Maybe you’ll embrace them quicker than me (and have a more relaxing career as a result)!

  1. You do not always have to immediately answer the phone call or the email. There is a misconception that in order to be effective, you have to be quick to respond. It’s simply not true. Sometimes, a delayed, well thought response is the best response. So, release the pressure to immediately respond. It can wait. 
  2. No one knows what they are doing. There’s a reason it’s called “the practice” of law and not “the perfection” of law. From one year of practice to 50 years, none of us really know what we are doing. We just get better at practice. 
  3. You do not have to work extra hard to deserve time off. You deserve it regardless. Every attorney I know has fallen into the trap that in order to take some time off, they need to bill a 60-hour week. Stop. Everyone, from the part time employee to the CEO, deserves a break regardless of how hard they worked the month before. Take time off without bogus requirements. 
  4. Pick a few activities that you enjoy, and dive in. Don’t spread yourself too thin by joining every local bar association and networking group. Pick a few that you really want to be a part of and just stick to those organizations. Networking is about quality, not quantity. 
  5. Have a life outside of law. You will feel pressure to attend firm happy hours and local bar events, often. But, you need a life outside of law. You need hobbies and people that will ground you and while the law is a big part of your life, it’s not the entire thing. Do not be afraid to say “no” to a work event when you have other things you want to do. 

If you’re ready to level up your legal career, let’s talk. I want to help you create better boundaries, enjoy more “me” time, and be a happier lawyer and person! Schedule a free consult for coaching today.