Question of the Week

What one thing do you wish you were told about legal practice?

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Mentor and students

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Mark Herrmann takes on a flinty, severe persona to lay down the law on legal practice in the real world. But as law grads draft their first pleadings, the former Jones Day partner advises a light touch.

“Law schools, they don’t tell you how ferociously busy judges are,” Herrmann tells ABA Publishing’s Ashley Alfirevic in the latest Modern Law Library podcast. “A judge in a busy motions court isn’t going to give five minutes of attention to your brief. So, if you’re writing a 15- or 20-page epic about some small issue of law, you are going to lose.”

Herrmann, now the deputy general counsel for insurance and benefits counselor Aon, slyly dispels the misconceptions of partners and associates alike in The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law, now in its second edition. Inevitably, no plan survives first contact with the supervising partner, much less the client.

This week, we’d like to ask: What one thing do you wish you were told about legal practice? What early career advice would have saved you the most time or trauma, had you the wisdom to follow it?

Answer in the comments on our social media channels via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Check out last week’s question: How do you keep down your stress levels at the office?

And view some of last week’s answers from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Featured answer:

Posted by Therese McGee on LinkedIn:

“For myself, I take regular walks and have a workout buddy. In working spaces, if I see my supervisor is struggling, I take initiative to see if there’s something I can do in the moment. Oftentimes that’s just being an ‘accountability buddy’, where I stay until they put something on the their calendar or update something critical. This little show of support can reduce a lot of stress among the whole team.”

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