NBA-AGC 2019: 10 Things No One Knew in Law School – Olajide Abiodun

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The following points will be useful to those considering a law degree and that current law students can relate to them.

  1. Career prospects
  2. There’s so much reading
  3. Work hard, work smart, be organized
  4. Everyone will try to pawn free legal advice from you
  5. Law school is intense

Law school prepares you for a lot, but there’s plenty more to do with the actual practice of law that law school just doesn’t cover.

Here are some other things that schools should teach young lawyers about in law school—and that you should be learning about yourself in the meantime.

  1. How to listen
  2. How to manage the unintended consequences of lawyering
  3. How to nurture creativity
  4. How to have a difficult conversation
  5. When to use alternative methods to help clients
  6. How (and why) to hone your conflict management skills
  7. How to be resilient
  8. How to run a law practice
  9. How to manage your personal finances
  10. How to nurture an internal sense of success and self-worth

BILLING
Billing–it’s the bane of every lawyer’s existence. Whether it’s capturing billable hours, explaining and justifying fees to clients, or trying to collect fees from non-paying clients–it’s
never “fun.” Then again, we all knew when we entered law school that practicing law wasn’t all fun and games.

EFFECTIVE BILLING TIPS

  • Detail, detail, detail! Provide detailed descriptions of billable items. Clients will appreciate it and will have less questions about invoices.
  • Don’t bill in blocks. Break down your tasks and avoid billing large blocks of time all at once.
  • Be clear from the outset. Discuss the fee agreement prior to beginning work on a case and put it in writing, if possible.
  • Earn your retainer fee. Don’t expect your client to pay you if you haven’t done your job.
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BILLING AND COLLECTING FEES ETHICALLY

Withdraw from representation if non-payment. It is wise to include this possibility in the retainer agreement. Withdrawal from representation is often permitted if doing so will not have a materially adverse effect on the client’s case.

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