Experience is nature’s greatest teacher. For all of the courses, classes, and tests you may have taken in college and law school, there are only so many lessons that can be learned in a classroom. Getting out into the field and learning from successes– and mistakes– will enable any attorney to excel beyond their initial expectations. Beyond that, getting screwed by so called SEO experts can be so pervasive that attorney SEO organizations like Circle of Legal Trust are starting to spring up. Our new members are able to learn to not make the same mistakes that we had made.
A Harsh Set of Lessons
Fortunately, some lessons of law office experience can be learned secondhand. Watching other attorneys in their experience can teach you what they’ve done that works– and what doesn’t. Studying under a mentor can also allow for lessons to be taught through diffusion and give you a teacher of which you can pick their brain. Unfortunately, sales and marketing is not part of the typical skill-set learned by ANY attorney.
Furthermore, when working in the field, small things that may have stayed flat on a textbook page can begin to jump out at you. Simple logistical hurdles can teach you incredible lessons about organization and running an office. Seeking out, hiring, and working with a staff can further allow you to understand the perspective of others in the legal field and can lead to increases in efficiency and trust.
This can also parallel the process of bringing on a partner or associate. Being able to learn the limits of your schedule and abilities can allow you to split up responsibilities. There are often limits that a young professional will not realize is there until they personally reach them. This can allow a person to gain introspection on what works and what doesn’t. Was the choice of a partner a good one? Was the split of responsibilities an equitable and efficient one?
There is a plethora of experience that can and will be learned in and out of the courtroom. However, this often is only learned from direct involvement. This is particularly true when issues like “schema markup,” or “NAP” data come up. Sure, determining how other attorneys, judges, and law clerks react to situations and building personal relationships can never be learned from a book. But it is even harder to understand attorney search, and the Google patents deciphering many of these algorithm changes. These and other lessons can be the ones that stick with you the longest. This is why you also need to join an attorney marketing group unless you plan to be an employee of another all your life.
Michael Ehline is the lead and founding attorney of the Ehline Law Firm PC. Based in Los Angeles, Ehline Law is a leading firm in the field of personal injury law and auto accident liability (View Attorney Website). Ehline’s experience led him to write these columns to assist new attorneys entering into practice.
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