WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR
YOUNG ATTORNEYS? AS TOLD TO BETSY GRACA
Find what your passion is
outside of practicing law.
That’s hard because, as a lawyer, the
time is really scarce and, you know, the
law is very absorbing to start with—it’s
mentally absorbing, the hours are long.
But you have to find some balance or the
law will consume [you]. … Find something
you love; find something you really enjoy
that matters to you. It will help you
keep a balance in your life and a better
perspective on your legal work.
When you’re starting out, you’ll look
around you and it seems like, “Wow, they’re
so confident and comfortable with what
they’re doing. Why do I feel just absolutely
filled with dread every day when I walk into
work?” Virtually every young lawyer feels
that way. I started actually getting them
together as a group, all of the first-year
associates, prompting them to talk about it.
And it did wonders, just in terms of making
them more comfortable.
TERRI-LYNNE SMILES / COLLIS, SMILES &
COLLIS, COLUMBUS, HEALTH CARE
Don’t hesitate to ask
judicial officers or
for advice and insights.
You just pick up the phone and call
somebody. … I’ve never had anybody say
no; I’ve never had anybody refuse to listen
to me and answer my questions.
[Also] keep your clients informed every
step of the way. Don’t forget to keep the
client informed. If you don’t keep them
informed, you risk the chance that they
won’t understand what you’re doing or why
you’re doing it.
[And] take more than the mandatory CLEs
to keep up on developments in the law.
MARK EDWARD STONE / MARK EDWARD
STONE, ATTORNEY, LLC, BEAVERCREEK,
Always get started in a
county prosecutor’s office
or in a public defender’s
New lawyers who are interested in a
career in private practice as a criminal
defense lawyer often ask me, “How
do I get started on reaching my career
goal?” There is no substitute for the
kind of trial experience you can get at
that [prosecutor’s or public defender’s
office] level. The next career move is
often to a U.S. attorney’s office or a
federal defender’s office. A further
move into private practice requires
realistic considerations and expectations
concerning simply paying overhead to run
a law office and attracting clients.
JOHN S. PYLE / GOLD & PYLE, CLEVELAND,