Question of the Week

How long was it until you stopped feeling like a 'new' lawyer?

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It’s a new year. How many years has it been since you started practicing law? How many years has it been since you were a “new lawyer”? Or are you one still?

“One of the transactional attorneys I worked with at BigLaw told me that she only started to feel like she kind of, sort of, maybe started to feel like she understood what she was doing after six years practicing at BigLaw,” Altamonte Springs, Fla., lawyer Suzanne D. Meehle wrote recently at Solo Practice University. “My former business partner, on the other hand, felt that she learned pretty much everything she needed to know after a year working in the public defender’s office. Some feel like they know it all upon passing the bar exam. Still others feel like they are flying by the seat of their pants after 10 years. Your mileage may vary.”


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So this week, we’d like to ask you: How long was it until you stopped feeling like a ‘new’ lawyer? One year? More than 10 years?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to our Dec. 18 question: What do you wish someone had told you when you were a first-year lawyer?

Featured answer:

Posted by Lawful Lady: “Becoming a really good lawyer does not happen in the first few years of law practice. You evolve into it, work at it, make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know the answer to a question. Always be curious and always seek to improve on what you know. Twenty years or so later, you will look back and reflect on your career, and you will realize how far you have come. Be patient.”

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