May 2019 Te Contractor’s Advantage
www.HarrisonLawGroup.com (410) 832-0000 firstname.lastname@example.org
A Learning Experience
I’m fortunate to have been able to work with many great attorneys throughout my career. I got my start at a medium- sized corporate firm in Baltimore. There, I learned from many talented attorneys who each had their own perspectives on the practice of law. As I’ve grown in my own career, I’ve reached a point where my role has become more and more that of a mentor. I take time to work with other attorneys to help them move forward in the practice of law, whether it’s discussing the business behind the firm or the nuances of construction law. In construction law alone, there is no shortage of topics I can talk about with other attorneys. As a parent of two small children, it’s interesting how my perspective on education and learning has changed over the years. Kids spend most of their week with their teachers. These people's livelihoods are the education of the next generation, and it’s astonishing how much influence they have. We invest a lot of trust in our children’s teachers. Our kids are under the guidance of a person who is often a complete stranger or starts out as one. But trust them we must. At the beginning of every school year, and certainly when our children start school for the first time, there’s a huge weight on our shoulders: We wonder if their teachers will serve as good guides for our children. Of course, as the school year winds on and our children come home to tell us what they’ve learned, the weight goes away, and the trust between parent and teacher becomes more significant. We watch as our
children come into their own and discover what they love most in life.
This is like the relationship I have with other attorneys. As a mentor, these interpersonal relationships become more significant as I impart my own experience and knowledge. There are many other attorneys who put their trust in me, and I do what I can to deliver for them. A lot of people who don’t work in law, including law students, often assume the profession is loaded with conflict, that it’s attorney versus attorney all the time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Law is a collaborative profession. We take our position on a case, sometimes we need to be assertive, if not forceful, about it, and arguments are common. But the collaboration never goes away. In speaking with other attorneys, particularly younger ones, I can’t stress enough how beneficial collaboration is. One thing that comes up time and time again is the minor favor: If another attorney asks for a favor, and it in no way hurts any of your clients, grant it. Favors are a great way to build up goodwill with colleagues and other attorneys. Plus, there will be a day when you need a favor in return. A second collaborative principle I try to impress upon younger attorneys is to pay attention. It may seem like common sense, but it gets overlooked all to often. The client is coming to you and spending a significant sum of money with you in order to solve a problem. It’s on the attorney and the firm to know the issues better than the other side. It isn’t just about knowing the letter of the law; it's paying attention to every single detail.
It’s listening to every word the other side speaks or poring over every document. Skipping over one line or misreading one piece of information can change the trajectory of the entire case. As I share my knowledge with other attorneys, as well as my clients, I continue to learn. Law is organic. There is always something new to discover.
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