Steven Lehat Attorney Business Advocate says “A young attorney in a large firm is not going to be charged with important economic decisions in his or her early career. Everything will be decided for them. They are not going to have the basis for getting to sophisticated issues”
It will be very senior management making those decisions.
The folks at the bottom are being trained to create excellent work products. The problem is that those folks at the bottom, because of the level of clients in those particular companies, who are being charged so much (even though they may have the wherewithal to pay) many of them won’t even entertain having junior attorneys work on their matter. They simply don’t believe junior attorneys have that level of capability to practice because they’re viewed as inexperienced.
They are not making any tough decisions. Indeed, they are very smart and did go to wonderful schools.
But they are far from what somebody who goes out on their own and particularly someone who is incubated is going to have to address and have to get training in.
This latter category of attorneys may or may not have the inherent abilities of somebody who is recruited by one of the elite firms from one of the elite schools. But those attorneys are going to do things much sooner and they are required by the laws of ethics to attain competency.
They can’t just go out there, just out of law school and because they are adventurous enough to put out their shingle to take a case without studying the law. They must make themselves competent and if necessary, bring in more competent senior people to work on a given project. Those attorneys are going to the head of the curve in the initial years. There’s no question about that in terms of returning value for services. Later on of course, these other attorneys, in the large firms, who have been nurtured over a long period of time can grow to be great attorneys and great business-minded attorneys, but it’s a process.
We’re dealing with the constituency that is going to be the vast majority of graduating attorneys in this country. For them, these skills are critical to really fulfill their destinies as successful practicing attorneys. They will take the best that the profession has to give in the world of ethics and impart it and join it to the best that business models can give to turn out a work product that ultimately clients are going to really love.
Their success will be based on setting up and running a best practices law office. Mr. Lehat tells us “In today’s day and age, the lawyer would need to be familiar with the very concept that regular businesses know all about; things such as project management, CRM, sales, internet web-sites and social networking. The new lawyer also must know the best way to make use of a given piece of equipment, what equipment to buy, and what equipment is going to be particularly cost effective or any particular set of clientele in order to give their client the best product at the best price.”
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