WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR
YOUNG LAWYERS? AS TOLD TO BETSY GRACA
Develop and cultivate the
personal relationships with
colleagues and clients.
Particularly in this age of electronic
communications, I think that young
lawyers need to resist the temptation in
their professional lives to rely too heavily
on email, texts [or] Facebook as a primary
method of communication. I think that while
these are certainly valuable tools in today’s
workplace, they should not replace the face-to-face or even telephone contact that is
essential to keeping up these relationships.
SUSAN HARTMUS HISER / PARTNER,
VERCRUYSSE MURRAY & CALZONE, BINGHAM
FARMS, EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION
Always remember your role.
Our purpose is to represent
clients in achieving their goals.
So I think that’s a very, very key thing.
Many attorneys have egos, many attorneys
[say], “This is the way you’re gonna do it.”
Well, the answer is, clients don’t always want
to go to court. Even though you have to start
the suit, they want it settled. Sometimes they
want a result that’s different than [what]
you think is right. Represent your client and
accomplish the goals that they establish.
… Provide value [and] show your worth. In
showing your worth to a client, become their
MICHAEL W. MADDIN / PARTNER, MADDIN,
HAUSER, WARTELL, ROTH & HELLER,
SOUTHFIELD, REAL ESTATE
Make an attempt to really
understand your client’s
business from an early stage.
The more you understand and
appreciate your client’s business and all
the internal pressures that they’re under,
the better lawyer you can be for them and
the better service provider you can be.
[Also] understand and appreciate that a
law firm is a business. It’s really important
to focus on honing your legal skills in an
early stage, but also to really understand
how a law firm works and what it takes for
a law firm to succeed as a business. I think
the earlier you understand that, the more
successful you can be.
ANESSA OWEN KRAMER / PARTNER,
HONIGMAN MILLER SCHWARTZ AND
COHN, BLOOMFIELD HILLS, INTELLECTUAL
Young attorneys need to learn about sales.
Every day is a sales call. The clients, the judge, the other side—you’re always selling
I think one of the most important things a new lawyer can do is network within your area
of expertise or within the immediate community. Because if people don’t know who you
are, you’ll never get any work. I worked for a firm and then went into solo practice and it
was my contacts in the world that made all the difference in whether I got work or not.
TIMOTHY A. DINAN / PARTNER, DINAN & ASSOCIATES, GROSSE POINTE PARK, CRIMINAL DEFENSE