Archives: advice

 

By Jeffrey S. Kravitz, Esquire

I was recently solicited by my law school to give advice to young lawyers and the mistakes they should not make. Much of what I supplied would be equally applicable to young athletes (maybe RGIII and Andrew Luck excepted).

 

 

1. “Do not confuse niceness with softness.” Just because the boss or your colleagues are lovely, friendly people, do not make the mistake of thinking that they do not demand the highest quality of work or professional services from you.

2. Understand where you are on the pecking order. Your firm may be egalitarian, but that does not mean that you can say that you would rather not go to the 8:30 status conference in Lompoc because you have your child’s Christmas play.

3. Dress for success. Understand that even if your firm has a casual policy, you want to be the adult in the group.

4. Be nice to everyone. You do not want to be known as the newbie who kisses up and kicks down.

5. Do not kid yourself that you work better under pressure. Even if you do, your boss will not work better under pressure you put her through.

6. Timeliness.  While you may be a late morning person, your clients will not be. No one will care if you are working until 10 at night if your client calls at nine in the morning and you are still in the shower.

7. Value.  Give more than your salary demands. You are working to develop your skills as well as to meet the needs of your clients. Take the extra few minutes to check the books instead of assuming, even if that time cannot be passed on to the clients.

8. Work. During your first few years, you really cannot work "too hard."  This is a learn by doing profession, and unless you are being asked to perform the same benighted labor over and over again, you will gain wisdom and experience from the time spent.

 

By Jeffrey S. Kravitz

Why do lawyers keep fighting? Because we are built that way. I have been in trials where there have been dark, dark hours. Where you think you are going to lose…and yet, you win.

Likewise, we have seen the Cardinals pull victory out of nowhere with one strike to go… 

 

 

 

and in a parallel series, the Giants beat the Reds after being behind two games to none.

 

 

 

 

When my son was a youngster, he was assigned the school task of doing a coat of arms, with his family’s motto. The tyke without pause wrote, "Do not ever, ever, ever take no for an answer."

The courtroom is no different. A colleague had his accident reconstruction expert on the stand getting eviscerated because the guy had gone to the wrong site at the behest of a junior associate. Like the Cards on their last strike or the Giants facing down elimination three straight games, my colleague persisted. At day’s end the senior lawyer had the same associate go out to the correct place with the expert, do the tests and the same result was obtained. Rather than put the expert on the stand, he put on the associate, who was quaking in her boots.

She confessed that the error had been hers, the expert testified again and a defense verdict came through.