Easy New Year’s Resolutions for Lawyers

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Consistent change and experimentation is good thing—instead of making big changes once a year, making little changes on a regular basis will help your practice.

If, however, you use January 1 as a springboard to make changes, here are three good, and relatively easy, resolutions for lawyers.

Go paperless

Federal courts are already paperless. State courts are moving in that direction. In other words, you might need to change your filing system out of necessity.

Going paperless will make life easier, I promise. Think of all the space you will save in your office. Less space = less cost. No more lugging around ugly briefcases to court. If you keep files in the cloud, you can work from anywhere at anytime.

Oh yeah, you might actually help the environment too.

Start a blog

Yes, more attorneys are starting blogs. Guess what? Lots of them are terrible. There is a difference between starting a good blog and dedicating yourself to keeping it good versus starting a blog and posting three times a year.

There are tons of articles on Lawyerist on all things blog related: how to start a blog, the need to regularly post, and how to optimize search engine searches. Another little secret: if you start a blog, you might like it, and you might even have fun while doing it.

Be a nice lawyer

Maybe I get hazed because I am a young lawyer. Maybe it’s just my good looks. Whatever the reason, the temptation is to react to jerky opposing counsel with equal hostility. Do not go there. Instead of trying to intimidate, how about remembering manners and trying to work cooperatively?

Being courteous and nice does not mean rolling over or allowing yourself to get sandbagged. Acting like a courteous attorney will get better results for your clients, not worse. A Juris Doctor is a professional degree—so act like a professional.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/meddygarnet/4232411010)

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  • http://houchinlaw.com/ Kevin Houchin

    Great tips Randall, as usual.

    In addition to starting a blog (or doing better at the one you already have), find a couple of groups that you can help by giving educational talks. It’ll help you practice communicating your knowledge, and it usually leads to very well-qualified clients.

  • http://clarkelawoffices.com/ Kristen Rowley

    As a legal assistant, going paperless can be tricky, especially when trying to maintain your CYA (cover your ***) files. I think it’s worth a try though, whenever and wherever possible. Good list!