Monday, March 5, 2007

How to Learn Your Craft

Starting from discussions of the work-life balance in law firms, Anthony Colleluori offers some advice for young lawyers. The Work Life Balance in Law Firms. Two Sides of the Debate, That Lawyer Dude, Feb. 11, 2007.

Learning the law, does not happen between 9-5 or even 8-6. It is the reading and working done when the phones stop ringing and the partners stop screaming that permits the opportunity for learning to take place.
He recommends reading advance sheets (since many of our students read all their cases online, I'll note that these are pamphlets with reports of new cases) and the daily bar journal (Washington doesn't have one -- whew!). He also says "reading transcripts of trials and issue spotting the appellate issues is a good tool in learning how to put a question, and on how to object and preserve a record." To understand jurors better, he says it's a good idea to read People, Ebony, Woman's Day, Sports Illustrated, and other magazines that jurors read.

He thinks that a "regular work week" for young lawyers should be 10-12 hours Monday through Thursday (alternating 10 and 12-hour days). Friday they can leave after 4:00. "Saturday or Sunday is meant for renewal but a few hours either in the office or at home working on self improvement or office work should be required." Then he adds: "The key to this is that the lawyer should want to do this." (emphasis added)

What about families? He says that in his firm, he considers people for partnership at six years out, even if they have taken maternity or paternity leave, as long as they've been there two years.

Any thoughts on this? Lawyers, is this what you expect of young lawyers in your settings?

1 comment:

That Lawyer Dude said...

Hi Mary, Thanks for mentioning our blog. I only wish some of the students and young partners had participated in this discussion. Hopefully they are having fun with their families and are too busy to comment after a hard day learning their craft.