Take a look at some of the most common mistakes that lawyers make at the start of or throughout their practice. By understanding the lifestyle that the average lawyer has and the demands on their time and energy, it will be good to address these issues in your own life in order to prevent misunderstanding them. It is possible to avoid mistakes, or to turn old ways around and into healthy and confident actions.
Dealing With Stress Out of the Office
Practicing law can certainly lead to being a very stressed person. There are many cases of the thinking about and the results of a case greatly impacting others’ lives. Taking this all on your own shoulders as a lawyer can really take a toll on your personal life. Many lawyers find themselves “burnt out” soon after starting their careers because they don’t take care of themselves outside of work. Taking a mental break from the concerns of the office is incredibly important for your mental and physical health. “Pursuing outside interests while you aren’t at work is going to give you much more balance to your life than just work. Eating right, getting physical exercise, and maintaining current relationships with others is all a part of a well-rounded lifestyle that will cut down on the strain that stress can have on your life,” said Mark Herman, owner of a Minneapolis criminal defense law firm.
You and the Courtroom
Being a lawyer is more than just being an expert at knowing the law—every case also takes into account how you handle yourself in the courtroom during a trial. Each person adds to the rooms’ atmosphere and mood. If the lawyer is incompetent, it will be apparent. If they are well prepared and ready to go, this will also be apparent. A mistake that many lawyers, particularly new lawyers, make is that they don’t know how to handle themselves well under the pressure of the courtroom.
“New lawyers lose their train of thought or they lose confidence in their preparations,” said Bill Mauzy of Mauzy Law Firm. “Being able to handle the pressure during these crucial moments in the courtroom will really play a part on how the jury and judge perceive your case and the evidence that you present. Being able to control your outward actions, facial expressions and being able to read the proper timing for things throughout a hearing is going to have a huge impact on the quality of lawyer that you are. Even if you are the best researcher and the most organized attorney, your attitude in the courtroom will play just as big of a role.”
Stayed tuned for part two of this series, which will look at a few more common mistakes lawyers make and how they can be avoided.