It’s Law – Episode 5: Practice of Law for Young Lawyers Aug 15, 2023

It’s Law – Episode 5: Practice of Law for Young Lawyers Aug 15, 2023

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Hello and welcome to the it’s law podcast presented by Fr Law Group. This is episode five. I’m Richie Edwards hosting again, apologize to all of you, it’ll be my third time. But we hope we keep refining things doing a good job. Today, I’m happy to be joined by Danielle Olson and Pierce Libbey, to other associates at the firm. And our topic today is going to be the practice of law as a young lawyer, we’re going to discuss Danielle and Pierce’s expectations coming out of law school and coming from their prior work experience or prior firms. How that expectation aligns with the things that we do today, how they like what we do, how they don’t like what we do, and you know, things that they might change about the practice of law as young lawyers. So to start, Danielle, I just ask that you give a brief introduction of yourself and your background in law school where you were before that sort of thing.

Yeah, certainly. Thank you for having me today Richie, my name is Danielle Olson. I went to DePaul law school in Chicago. I graduated in 2016. Prior to that, I went to the University of Kansas. I got my BA minor in business. In law school, I focused on corporate law. I got my certificate in taxation, and I’m doing corporate litigation.

Excellent. Rob shock. Yes. Here’s what about you. I am a recent graduate of ASU law school. Before that, I went to the University of South Dakota where I got my general business degree and geared up to go to law school, and worked a little bit at some firms during school but this was my first job after the bar. So, so this is your is your first real this is my first real attorney job.

Yeah, well, well, welcome to the audience their way Pierce started his career, as he just said, Here fr Law Group, he obviously interned and worked in firms prior to that. But I think the distinction, at least for me, personally, between what you did interning in law school, and even prior to taking the bar, and then actually practicing, it’s kind of funny, get a certificate from the Supreme Court, and all of a sudden, you can practice law and, and you’re allowed to do that. So it’s a little bit weird, Danielle had prior experience before she came to join the firm. And so they both have a little bit of a different background into joining our corporate litigation group here. So Danielle, what did you expect? Well, let me back up, you said you focused on corporate law and law school, what sort of thing? What does that mean? You know, as as somebody who might not have gone to watch,

sure, it was classes like corporate finance, learning about business organizations, the various types, and you know, the issues that can arise with the different types of business organizations. And then with the certificate and taxation that was focusing on, you know, the taxation of partnerships versus the taxation of corporations, and what kind of advice you can give to clients with different business organizations.

Okay. And now, as you mentioned, you’re a commercial litigator. So a little bit of a difference. Did you always intend to go into litigation? Or was that something that you sort of came to after the fact?

You know, I think I intended to go into more transactional work, at least while I was in law school, just because I wasn’t as familiar with the litigation side. I didn’t grow up in a family with lawyers or judges. So I think the idea of being in court in law school intimidated me a little bit. That that is something that I expected that I would be doing more of in corporate litigation, however, it still is a lot of kind of behind the scenes work.

Okay. And Pierce, how about you? Did you always intend to be a litigator when you started law school? Or have you come to this sort of along the path, like Danielle did?

No, but very similar to Danielle, I set out to do transit action work and actually worked in the innovation and advancement clinic at ASU where we would help early stage ventures, solidify their positions and kind of all their startup documents. Whatever they might need to really get going once they started being a business., and I really love that work. But one of the mentors of that clinic, in addition to doing a lot of transactional work, pushed litigation pretty hard. And I ended up learning more about that, and decided I liked doing the work after the businesses were set up. So..

Okay. So I’m going to I’m going to come back to that that like doing the work and sort of what that work entails. Because at least I know, for me, what I thought litigation entails when I was in law school is quite a bit different than what it actually is in practice. And that might just be because I’m naive and didn’t know but it at least for me, the expectation and reality are quite different. So coming in, you’re in law school, you start off as a one out, what did you expect that law practice would be like, three years waiter? What sorts of things did you expect to be filling your days with?

You know, that is a little bit of a funny question, because obviously you go to law school and think you know what it’s like, because you talked to a couple of lawyers before, and everyone says, oh, it’s not like TV. It’s not like movies. And you’re like, Alright, I got it, it’s not going to be like that. But then, you know, what is it like, you still don’t really have that picture. So, you know, I thought it would be a lot more kind of solo work, where you’re kind of holed up in your office, doing the research and writing the briefs, and going through contracts and poring over details. And I’m surprised at how much more personal it is, although those are certainly elements of the job, you kind of have to get to the point where you’re doing that sort of work by having the back and forth and kind of the return. Sure, fire nature of what we do.

Sure. And I’ll say, as you probably, I would suspect, we both agree, working for a firm the size of FR Law Group, but probably gives you some more of that back and forth, the interactions with clients and an opposing counsel and courts and judicial assistants and all sorts of things that at a big law firm, it might be more like you thought or non pulled up in a cubicle and not seeing the sun for eight 910 hours a day. So Daniel, I want to stay along the same lines. And I know, you know, you said you graduated, and then practice somewhere else before coming here. Was there an expectation when you joined the firm of how your day to day might be joining the commercial litigation firm?

You know, because I have experience, I think I’ve learned to not have expectations going into a law firm, because you kind of never know what to expect. I mean, joining a smaller law firm, I think I did expect it to be a little bit more client facing. And that’s something that was discussed in in the interview process. Because I came from a law firm where it was almost all client facing being in personal injury, you’re dealing with a ton of cases. Whereas moving to corporate litigation firm, at least FR Law Group, you’re dealing with a smaller volume of cases, but much, much bigger cases. So higher value cases. Because of that, it’s you spend more time on the cases, you have to be a little bit more detail oriented. And you build, I think maybe a little bit more of a relationship with the clients because you spend more time developing their cases, then it might be months before you get a final result.

Right. Yeah, months, years, even right. I was just looking through some of our records on a case this morning, that were scheduled to go to trial in November of this year. And I was looking back and we started in the late spring 2021. So we’ll be by the time we get to trial, I don’t know 30 months or close to 30 months. The clients certainly when they come in, they don’t expect that sort of thing. So it appears I want to I know you had said you interned right at some firms, and then interning as a law student, and even graduating from law school prior to taking the bar. It’s it’s somewhat like the law practice, but it’s different. So from that experience, comparing it to FR Law Group, what’s different? What’s the same? How does that compare to what your day to day is one of the things that Danielle has just said with client facing, and in the higher value, that sort of thing?

Sure, well, I spent a year with one firm and spent full summers with them, and then worked there for class credit during the school year. So I was there, you know, 20 ish hours a week. So, kind of got to know the firm work on cases throughout that year long period and dig in a little bit. It was largely corporate defense work. So the people that were largely pursuing from this angle, so certainly interesting to have a little insight into their strategies. And what’s different, though, my more specific experience would be, I was doing a lot of those research things. And maybe that’s where I got my idea that I would be holed up and not talking to anybody, but and certainly the research going through the documents, kind of poring over to make sure the T’s are crossed, and the i’s are dotted. And I also did things so much slower than I do now. So that was a great chance to kind of hone my skills and learn a little bit about what’s happening.

Sure, sure that I mean, that’s always important, right? The balance between being thorough getting things done and, and we’re billing the client and how much time can I really spend on this before it becomes inefficient and wasteful. It’s a hard balance to strike. Daniel, I meant to touch on something from what you said and I forgot. You said that coming here, you have less cases though they’re higher volume. Can you give us a little bit of an idea of of quantitatively what that means how many cases you were dealing with? How many you’re involved in now?

Gosh, I mean, in personal injury you can have up to I mean, I’ve seen attorneys with over 1000 cases at one time. I mean, they’re obviously different stages of the case. But definitely over 100. And that some, yeah, every personal injury firm, I’m sure is structured differently. I came from the largest personal injury firm in Arizona, and you would have, you know, up to four paralegals, who each paralegal would have hundreds of cases, and then one attorney would be responsible for handling all of the cases with all of those paralegals. So compared to the number of cases that we have here, you would know probably more about, you know, the total number of cases that our FR Law Group has, but comparatively, it’s it’s it’s less.

Sure, yeah. Well, I mean, here we, the way we do things, right, we have what we call outside general counsel clients, as you both know, these that come to us when they need something. And occasionally they’re inactive. They don’t need things, which is great, right? It’s, it’s good for everybody. And so our active cases or matters varies a little bit, but it’s certainly not hundreds per attorney, right? You know, in a given week, you might work on five or 10, or I’d suspect if you worked on 10-12, maybe 15 in the week, that’d be a lot of different cases to touch for each one of us here. So it’s, it’s certainly a totally different world. And in Daniel mentioned, she came from the largest personal injury firm in the state we on this podcast, we believe in a philosophy of no free ads. So we’re not going to mention who it was. But we’re certainly glad that she’s here with us. So I want to we’ve talked a little bit about expectations, how it varies and that and one thing for me is, I understood, sort of, that I was going to have to build time, right in that, yeah, you have to charge somebody for something for to get paid. And to make it work economically, I didn’t really understand before I started a firm, what that meant that it was going to mean, you know, you really track your time and these six minute increments every day, you got to enter them into the system in the computer so that the client knows what they’re being charged for. They don’t just receive a big bill, and have no idea what we’ve done so that we can show that what we’ve done brings value and all these different ways that we brought value and helped them towards a good resolution. That has been for me probably one of the worst aspects of practice as compared to my expectation. So I want to talk a little bit about that with both of you things that are different from expectations that you really enjoy; things that are different that you totally hate, and maybe some things that are the same that that you might enjoy your hate. So, either one of you wants to start if no one wants to raise the handle, I’ll go with Pierce and we can go from there.

All right, well, I’ll jump in. I can agree with Richie about the timekeeping being different, like, obviously, you know, it exists, and you know, you’re gonna have to do it. And, but all of a sudden, you know, you spend 10 minutes responding to an email for a client and you’re working on your motion, that’s maybe the big item for the day, and then someone calls and you have to handle that. And then you know, another correspondence with someone else, or an internal meeting about a case. And all of a sudden, your days getting kind of mixed up. And at the end of the day, even if you’ve been keeping track of it on a notepad or I like to use a little timers on our timing system. So it keeps notes for me and keeps track of all the exact time but it is just not quite. I don’t love how it breaks up my workflow. And that has definitely been something to adjust to you. Because also there is you have to accurately represent what your time is to clients. And certainly, again, that other outside pressure of wanting to a great job competing with how much time am I sinking into this? Because obviously, at the end of the day if we win a case for a client, but they don’t get to make money because we spent too much time on it, that it’s not a positive result for the client. So, keeping those things in mind. Sure, and kind of doing the juggling act has been something that I’ve had to learn, but I think have been having success with learning and you guys are obviously great role models with that. So..

Well, you know, occasionally by the end of the month anyway, when everything gets squared away. Daniel, do you have anything that’s like that better or worse than different from expectations?

I think, as I mentioned before, my one of my expectations was to be in court more. That’s just something that I envisioned litigation being running around in different courtrooms in different counties and different judges and after COVID, I mean a lot of stuff can be handled via screen and that has exceeded my expectations. I guess and has been better, better than what my expectations were on the billable hours note that that does take a little getting used to it is something new coming, I did in house counsel to begin with, and I work in personal injury, which was all contingency based. Now it’s, you know, with the billable hours, I do think that what Pierce mentioned and kind of getting into flow, that’s the key. The one positive about billable hours is it forces you to only work on one thing at a time? And I think studies show that when you’re multitasking, you’re just not as efficient. Even if you think that you are, you really can’t multitask and be billing hours at the same time. And, you know, fortunately, I think Troy has a lot of experience in managing delegating work. I think he managed over 150 attorneys at one time. So, I since I’ve been here, which you know, it’s getting coming up onto a year, I guess we could say, Yeah, I think he’s done a really good job of delegating work and allowing us to only work on one thing at a time. Sure.

Which has helped. Right, and it’s kind of peer sort of mentioned that you have sort of a big project that you’ll know you have a big response or a big research project or something that you’re doing. And then it is trying to figure out, okay, I need to do this, I have my deadline, and it’s in a week or 10 days, or whatever it is. And then dailies, the things come through, it’s kind of the nature of the work or emails, calls meetings, you know. When we have to talk with opposing counsel or jump on a call with the client, because they have a question or, or a new document isn’t this whatever, it really is sort of an art to it. Okay, I need to be efficient, I need to build but this is an emergent matter. So, I’ve got to break away and then make sure I try to get right back into the workflow, right and jump back in as much as I can. And I think we learn as time goes on what can wait, you know, what can wait until our next natural break for 45 minutes? Or what can wait until the next morning, if it’s, you know, later in the afternoon or evening, and those sorts of things come I think they’re always there. Right. So, I did want to touch on being in court more, because that’s, I think after COVID, we sort of have to consider court, you know, zoom and all these things that we do telephonically or via video that are like court that we used to drive down I mean, from our office, to drive down Park, get into the courthouse, it’s probably at least a half an hour with no traffic, right whether to make sure we’re there a few minutes early. So, that part of it’s more efficient for the clients. And I’m sure they’d love that it has its pros and cons. So, Pierce talk to me about, you know, the experience in court and hearings. And you’re just starting in your career. And I don’t mean that as derogatory. But I think you kind of grow into your court more and more. How is it compared for you so far, you know, the court hearings, you’ve been able to attend, listening on to what you expected going into litigation?

Sure. And so I actually expected to be in court a lot less than I am. Right now, as I was starting out, I thought I would be doing a lot more of the behind the scenes work and not really sitting in or participating in any of the hearings. We just had a settlement conference with a federal magistrate last week. And Troy kind of gave me the ball for a while, and was having me answer questions and talk about the case. And I was a little nervous at first, but definitely found the flow and appreciated that opportunity, as well, as was kind of reflecting on that afterwards. May. You know, that’s not an experience I think a lot of super young attorneys expect to have. So, I’ve definitely gotten to observe and participate in plenty hearings, which I think is helping me grow and ultimately help clients more as well.

Sure. Yeah. And, Daniel, I know that you have recently had some experience in depositions and doing in assisting in that that’s not court, but it’s sort of what we expect that litigation is you know, I don’t know if you guys are watching suits, it came out years ago, it’s a little resurgence, right? They do a lot of depositions where it’s funny to me, they they jump in and they have this document and the deposition lasts 30 seconds, they get the key admission and everybody leaves. That’s certainly not how it is. Can- can you tell the audience a little bit about your experience perience preparing for going through all the documents, getting things ready for depositions, and then how that has sort of been for you that experience? Yeah,

I will say compared to what you see on TV like suits, it seems like they’re always there’s always a deadline that they’re about to meet and they have to stay up all night in order to meet that deadline. When you work for attorneys that have a system in place and then are more organized, they give you plenty of time to get the work done. So it’s not like you’re waiting up until that I mean sometimes we’re maybe printing documents the day before or something if if we have to but for the most far, I think, you know, I think that my expectation was that I would have less time to prepare for something like that. And what’s changed is that you know, you, you have enough time, if you’re organized. And if you have a system in place, and you have good leadership, you have enough time to do the work properly and be prepared, really for anything in litigation.

Yes, secondary takeaway for me from that is that FR Law Group’s more organized and maybe better than pearson specter lead. So, that’s great. On the actual practical, you know, preparing and you mentioned organization, and that’s good. Can you walk us through a little bit, you know, preparing not only to go minute by minute or hour by hour, but getting things ready for a big deposition. I know you’ve helped Troy, get prepared and myself get prepared for some big ones coming up, or that we’ve just done recently, can you walk our audience through sort of what that entails how we get ready to go into a deposition and get the information we gain?

Sure, I would say step one is reviewing a bunch of boring emails and discovery. You might go through 1000s, of documents, pictures, whatever, to figure out what documents you’re going to need for the deposition. From there, you prepare a deposition outline, preparing questions based on the documents that you found, you know, based on what you think that you want to ask the person that you’re going to be opposing. Step three is the deposition. I think it’s really that simple.

Yeah, yeah, I think that’s right. I think the big thing for me anyway, that’s always different, as you mentioned, 1000s of documents, right? And you’re going through all of these emails and these-these agreements and edits to agreements, and just hundreds of 1000s of pages sometimes. And I didn’t realize that we have four hours to do a deposition, right? You can come to an agreement to get more time, but by the rules in Arizona, it’s four hours. And it’s like, oh, my gosh, how am I going to get through all of this are in all these binders? I think I go to a deposition, I end up using less than half of what we’ve brought, you know, over preparing is good. But Pierce, maybe not deposition specific. It can be if you have it, but how has that sort of thing compared with sort of the volume of documents that go through to actually what becomes key? You know, what was your expectation with that? How has it evolved? And And just what are your general thoughts on how that works in the practice law?

Sure. I mean, right off the bat, I’m kind of shocked. I mean, everyone says there’s a there are a lot of documents, there are things to review. But there are a lot of documents in some of these cases. And some of them are several 100 pages long. So that’s pretty much a book and it’s one of the several 100, or several 100,000 documents that you have to review. So that just right off the bat has been kind of astounding, and but learning what you’re looking for, and really honing in and trying to discard some of the things that aren’t so relevant, definitely help get on the track. And I’ve definitely had the experience of going to a hot shipping container in the middle of summer in Phoenix to sort through cardboard boxes of documents. So, I certainly appreciate when the vast majority of our clients provide them over email, and I can look in the air conditioning in my office. And yeah, overall, it is just really kind of impressive how much stuff there is. And I’m sure that’s a strategy that some attorneys try and use because they want us to miss things. So, we do our best not to and ultimately sit down and ask the questions about what we’d like clarification on.

Sure. Yeah, you know, I recall a case that that we’ve been working on recently going through emails, and it seems like in my head, at least, it was hundreds of pages of emails of this group of people making dinner reservations, and then planning a golf outing. And it doesn’t seem like the golf outing ever happened based on the emails, maybe it did, but didn’t ask about it. But it’s just crazy how that goes. So yeah, you wish it could be better. But but whatever. So I want to ask you both. You know, I know. I don’t wanna speak for you, but I assume that you’d like to practice of law. It can be difficult, right? Daniel, you mentioned sometimes it does require late nights sometimes it requires a long day at the office for a long few days at the office to get prepared but generally we like what we do. So practicing law here at FR Law Group what’s-what’s your favorite thing? What’s the best thing about it then you know what, what really gets you excited? And you know, this is why with the law school.

Yeah, I mean, FR Law Group along with in any other area of law, or law firm, I love to solve problems. I think that’s my favorite thing about it. What I like about fr Law Group is that we’re solving problems for businesses. I’ve always wanted to help. I love to see businesses grow, and I like to solve problems for businesses. So, that’s what’s unique to this this firm in addition to, you know, huge construction clients, we have construction cases here as well. So, clients will come with their issues, and sometimes they won’t see a path forward. And they tell us their issues, and we kind of analyze the material that they give us. And we’ll come back with options for them. And based on their objectives, we can give them a path forward. And I think that that that’s something that I enjoy.

Yeah, yeah. creative solution to really make a business owner or a small business owner pretty happy. It’s a lot of fun. Exactly. Here’s what about you. Same question.

Yeah, I think there are really two prongs to this answer for me. And the first is very similar to Danielle, where I love the complexity of the problems and kind of getting to figure out, first of all, what actually happened. And then secondly, how we’re going to take all the documents and everything that we have available to us to tell the story that we really need to tell, in order to help get our client relief. And sometimes figuring out those solutions and figuring out which laws actually apply and how we can help apply them to our clients benefit. Those are really fun puzzles for me cerebrally to figure out, and they keep the work interesting and varied. And I love that, whether it is you know, a smaller mom and pop business, or some of the mega large construction clients that Danielle referenced as well. And the other thing I really liked when we get to help people. And I think that’s a really cool element of the job, especially just this last couple of weeks, we’ve wrapped up a couple cases that I was working on and helped our clients get settlements and move on, and put some of those challenging issues from their businesses behind them. And it is just really rewarding to help a small business owner, get over whatever hurdle they were facing and get to-get to keep on going. So yeah, that that’s something I really liked about this job, too.

That’s excellent. That’s very good. I’m gonna flip it on you both. What’s What’s your least favorite thing about the practice of law? And don’t say billing time, because we all hate entering time. Other than that.

Yeah, I think I mentioned it earlier, reading the boring emails. Yeah. During discovery, not your email. No.

I’m sure the emails for me are really

Times bestsellers.

Like that. Here’s what about you. Yeah,

I think, I think that again, is it it’s when I’m doing things that I don’t quite see the endgame in. Though it also has been interesting, the flip side of that, as I’ve been learning and observing kind of the lifetime of some of our cases where all of a sudden, four months later, you start to see the fruit of that kind of grind you put in and that has been pretty cool as well. So, I am going to give you a half answer and say, it’s that whole discovery deal. But also, I’m learning to appreciate. So sure,

well, that’s good, that’s good, you’re maybe more mature than I am. Now, I before I ask this next question, I want to remind you both were on the podcast, sponsored by the FR Law Group, we work for the FR Law Group, you know, Troy and Scott, they’re gonna listen to this. So, with that caveat, I want to ask, what’s the one thing that you would change about the practice of law for a young woman? In Pierce,

I’ll start with you. The one thing I would change about the practice of law for a young lawyer? You know, it’s really interesting, because, I think I would change just the amount of time that you, sometimes I feel this pressure of wanting to learn something for myself, and then also knowing that I’m working for a client. And that does result in me going home and learning about topics, which is really cool. But I think the thing that I would change would be retroactive where in law school, I would make more time for hands on learning. Sure. And that kind of, I think, would maybe have better equipped me to be doing some of these things. But at the same time, you know, how many people really know where exactly they’re going to end up when they start practicing? So right, certainly part and parcel of a ongoing career and a lifetime of learning. So..

yeah, no, that’s excellent. Law school does, unfortunately, have to teach to sort of the general you know, 250 year however many students are in the class, it theory of the law, and then you’re right, a lot of the specific-specifics we deal with or would have been great to learn them, but you know, we teach ourselves so that’s really commendable. Danielle, what about you?

So, I guess I understood this question to ask, can, what would I change about the practice of law in general? Yeah. Okay, I think what I would change is that you can only practice in one state if you take the bar there. So, I think that they need to make it easier for lawyers to take one bar exam. And they can practice in any state, I think that that would allow for more competition. And I guess, nationally, and we’re kind of on our way, because we have a uniform bar exam. But even with that, there’s still hurdles that you have to jump over in order to practice in other states. So I’m licensed in Washington, DC, Illinois, Arizona, I took the Illinois bar exam before it adopted the uniform bar exam. So I had to take it from her again, in Arizona, which is it’s, yeah, anyone that’s taking the bar or is preparing for the bar, they understand it’s, it’s a lot of work. Now, I mean, I that Arizona had the uniform bar exam at the time. And so with this high enough score, you can practice in all the states that have adopted the uniform bar exam, but you still have to do the character and fitness, you still have to pay the fees in each state. And so I just there’s a lot of unnecessary fees. And I think it would also help law firms be able to grow in different markets that are

sure. No, that’s, that is another podcast, or to probably write the bar exam and, you know, a barrier to entry, you can talk about and growth of firms and attorneys. And that’s a fraught topic, but a really good one that probably will pitch to Troy for some exploration. Now, I, you know, this is recorded, but I would say, you know, the reason that for the caveat was mostly a joke, right? Hearing from Troy and all of his emails, but the reality is, I think here for us and fr Law Group, sure, anywhere you go jobs a job at the end of the day. Sometimes, but I do feel like here we have, you know, bosses and leaders that care about who we are, as people care about the things going on in our lives, and care about the work as well. And it is a place where I think you can get a true work life balance. So I’d like people to talk just a little bit about, you know, balancing your life and work and knowing that sometimes the balance shifts more towards work for a week or a couple of weeks or a month because of, you know, the case, and then sometimes it shifts back the other way. How do you go about that? How do you strike the right balance in doing the best for your clients, you know, given what you need to do the firm giving, you know, what you need to do you and your family and your personal life.

So what I found, what I appreciate about FR Law Group is I do think the most important thing is to be getting the work done that needs to get done on time. And, you know, doing it efficiently for the clients in the most detail oriented and best, best way possible. I think that’s that’s the end game. And you have to keep that in mind. Because you can get really caught up in the you know, how many billable hours am I doing? And then sometimes you get caught up in how many minutes am I doing here? You know, I think I think it’s really important to maintain a work life balance. And so FR Law Group allows for that and that, but it’s all about time management. So, you have to prioritize your your health, physical well being your mental well being and also take care of your work at the same time. And I think if you know you’re, you’re using time management skills, then you can accomplish all of those and have a healthy work life balance at FR Law Group.

Yeah, no, I think that’s right in here. Someone asked you the same thing but I want to make a comment off of that is that I think FR Law Group and Scott and Troy, they believe in delivering good work for the clients or getting the client what they need in a timely manner. What they don’t believe in is unnecessarily billing the client and I think you run into some of that I know from conversations with friends and colleagues, they’re really pressured to bill, bill, bill, bill, bill to certain clients and and that ends up I think in a case where the client pays more for work that maybe wasn’t necessary it wasn’t as efficient as it could have been. And I think that really can help exactly like you said, it helps you know, this is my goal is what I have to get done and when I get that done, I have time for me and I have time for those things. So, so Pierce, same thing to you, how do you balance you know work life balances as an attorney going out close to put a year being barred here student right?

November yeah, so Danielle touched on it earlier in the podcast as well but Troy and Scott do a very good job of managing our schedules from the top down. And sometimes you know, your calendar does pile up case deadlines, you might end up with three big guidelines in a week and you know, those couple of weeks leading up to that are going to be a little more significant. And also, you know, I haven’t really run into a situation where I’ve been on the grind for more than a couple of weeks in a row and then usually you get a little bit of time to obviously you’re still working and all that but, I’m certainly take a little bit of time to make sure my cup is full again. And I think that certainly talking to some of my peers that are in their first year of practice, that is not always the case. So, I’m super grateful for that. And I think it helps me do better work and ultimately provide more value to the client. Because when I’m not tired, I can work faster.

Solution quicker and more efficiently, and it’s often a better solution. So I want to start to wrap up. And I want to ask you both. And I’ll lead into it. But I the questions. First is advice you’d give to somebody who’s just starting law school or thinking about starting law school. And then advice you might give to, you know, the two well, or three or somebody that’s in law school, they’re well on their way to graduating and going to start, you know, practicing law. And we all have and I think, I think it’s different because some of us and Danielle, you mentioned, you don’t come from a family of lawyers or judges or people in the legal industry. So, sometimes you don’t know what you have going in. I know, that was sort of the case. For me, I have some uncles that do practice law, but they do it in a little bit of a, a different way, you know, meaning they have law degrees, they practice a lot of they do a lot of business things. And so law sort of ancillary to the things that they do and going into law school, you know, I was, and maybe it’s again, so their performance, because I’m naive and should have just known but I was shocked by just the amount of reading you’d have to do in that first semester, that first year, and then how impactful that would be to what internship you can get where you might be able to get hired for a clerkship, you know, the things that you can then do to start your kickstart your career. So, Pierce, you’re the closest to it, what advice would you give somebody thinking about applying to law school, or who’s applied and is just about to start?

Sure, I would say that there are two big pieces of advice I would give to someone that is thinking about going to law school and one would be you know, if you have the means try and go sit in on a law school class, and really see what it is you’re getting into. And that isn’t even necessarily just to determine whether or not you want to go even once you want to go if you can kind of prepare and know what’s coming. I think that gives you a huge edge to as you mentioned, Reggie be ready to hit the ground running and make the most of that first semester because like it or not, the system we have is that kind of does determine the scope of your next two and a half years. And, and certainly there can be exceptions to that. But by and large, it’s easier to stay ahead once you’re already ahead than it is to catch up. So that is one thing. And the second thing is don’t forget yourself throughout that last little time. And you know, if you value fitness, or reading or cooking or whatever it is try and make those things part of your daily and weekly routines, and kind of structure your life where those things are still included, because three years is a long time to go without something like that. And, you know, you’re still going to work a lot once you’re done with law school, and maybe more in a lot of people’s situations. So, if you can keep those habits and routines, I think that’s a really great way to go.

Yeah, that’s excellent. Daniel, which would you have any advice to add on to this this prospective law student we’re talking to?

If you’re a one owl study and avoid distractions as much as possible? Either? It’s it’s a grind, yeah, that first year? Yeah. It is. So

now, you know, same sort of thing, question but somebody who’s maybe in their third year of law school, they’re interviewing at places or maybe have a plan? What sort of advice would you give someone you know, before graduating from law school to help them in the practice of law?

I would say make friends network as much as possible use your to all your three L year to meet people, make friends, network with your professors. You know, talk to the dean get to know as many people as possible because you never know where you’re gonna get a job opportunity.

That’s, that’s excellent. It is a small community. It seems like no matter where you go, the legal community always seems to know everybody. It’s maybe it’s because it’s so gossipy. But the judge cares. Would you give any different advice?

No, I mean, really the same advice, but maybe with a little additional perspective that when you are a student, people want to help you. And even if you already have a job as many students after they’re too well do you know, I definitely saw some kids that I was in school with back off and not really insert themselves into the community the same way that people that didn’t have jobs did, and I think it’s just really beneficial to take advantage of those lunches or coffees and getting to know adults outside of the law school that are in the practice because people will make time for you when you’re a student. But once you start working, you have somewhat siloed yourself into where you’re working. And so people want to help you as a student and take advantage of that for

sure. Yeah. That’s excellent advice from both of you. So we’re wrapping up in before we do I just, you know, sort of a general question, is there anything else that you’d want our audience to know, and, you know, lawyers, non lawyers, judges, whoever might, might end up listening to this, about the practice of law. And your thoughts on it, you know, just a little bit of time to sort of share your final thoughts before we close it out?

Sure. I guess one last point that I wanted to bring up for anybody who is thinking about going to law school, or the advice that I always give them is, if you’re on your deathbed, and you’re looking back on your life, will you regret not going to law school? And if the answer is yes, then do you only have one life? At least? That’s what I believe. Excellent. Pierce?

Sure. Yeah. I mean, I love it, it can be a lot of work, as we said. And I also think that that’s really rewarding. And I don’t want to do the same thing over and over. And I love the challenges I, you know, enjoy creating things with my hands, whether it’s our garden, or some projects around the house, and also, the writing that we do here at work it there definitely is a creative process, which I was a little nervous about. And getting hammered with all the reading and everything during law school, but then kind of coming out on that other end and getting to explore it is really a diverse world. And I love that so well, I’ve

you just made me lie to our audience. I thought I was gonna wrap it up. And it brought up something I realized, we haven’t really talked about the writing that we do. Tell me about it, right? It’s, there’s a lot of it, or there can be depending on what stage of a case you’re at in that, but but tell me about your experience with with the light, the legal writing, and how that is, you know, different how it’s more challenging how it may be less challenging, and how it is a creative process for you?

Sure. So there are a lot of different forms of writing we do. And it’s always important to keep in mind your audience. And I think that that I mean, there’s a huge difference between an internal research memo that I’m firing off an email to routine, Danielle about a discrete issue in a case, versus I’m initiating contact with another opponents, attorneys, and kind of trying to test the waters and see where we stand with an issue. Hopefully, we won’t have to sue, maybe we will, you know, those letters are a different thing entirely. And then you get into drafting documents for the court, and complaints and memos and briefs, and all those sorts of things. And it really is. You got to be a master of a lot of different types of writing. And it’s always an engaging pursuit, I think, to do so. And even, you know, you might be talking about the same argument, the same concept, and each of those three scenarios I outlined, but are you saying it and how are you supporting it? So, I really appreciate that and definitely keeps keeps me engaged. So..

Excellent. Excellent. Thank you, Danielle, your thoughts on on legal range?

All right. Yeah, no, I completely agree with what what Pierre said in that it’s, it’s diverse, and you’re going to be talking to a variety of audiences. And you’re going to be talking to clients who are in different situations, some of them incredibly sad. And, you know, some of times, they just, they really want you to be a bully to somebody else. And so you have to take a more aggressive tone. It’s, I mean, part of it is about catering to the clients. But I think that good attorneys are able to do that if they have more of a human element to themselves. They, they understand how to, you know, show compassion, or show the different human emotions that we all have, through their writing. And I think that, you know, you can build on that skill. A lot of that comes from experience, but also you can, you know, read fiction, you can read different types of writing, to kind of gain your skill set. That’s something that I tried to do is not only read legal writing all the time, because it can be pretty dry and boring. But you know, try to gain some writing skills by reading outside of the legal field.

Sure. Oh, that’s excellent. Well, I thank you both for being here. Thank our audience for listening to this episode five, I hope that we brought the audience something a little bit more knowledge on what the practice of law is like as you’re getting started. We’re happy to be here. Hope you keep listening, and give us a call. Visit, email any of us our email addresses are on the website and we’d be happy to help evaluate your choosing and help you out like like these excellent attorneys have said in the best way most efficient way to get you the result you want. So, thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time, all right.