Helpful vs. Unhelpful Advice for New Lawyers

Posted on 03-24-2014 by
Tags: Upgrading Your Skills , people

Telling a new lawyer to "get over it" is not terribly likely to help her achieve results or develop skills, but some senior lawyers do just that. In her article, Helpful vs. Unhelpful Advice for New LawyersAlison Monahan reviews the ‘root’ of the problem, and recommends 4 helpful tips when communicating to the next generation of lawyers.

Excerpts of Monahan’s recommendations include: 

1. Acknowledge the problem: Step one is simply saying, "Yes, I understand your concerns. Let's talk about them."

2. Make a genuine attempt to relate: Trying to relate is no picnic because it requires a bit of humility on your part.

3. Offer practical, actionable solutions: Explain why the task isn’t that hard, a relatable example or possible solutions.

4. Evaluate your own choices, and share what you've learned: The most compelling advice is often the hardest won. Lawyers are so afraid of showing any weakness or vulnerability that they'll go to great lengths to avoid admitting mistakes. Once again, a bit of humility on your part can help to win the war.

In your opinion is there a way to encourage supervisors or mentors to provide even better feedback?

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