It’s a clash of how things have always been done, and whether or not that is a good enough reason for how things should be done in the future
Doing it Better Tomorrow than you Did it Today
In truth, whatever its trappings, what every lawyer needs to focus on is an ability to keep looking for better ways to do things. Marketing, writing, communication, career progression – these things have a history of being done in a particular way, but that doesn’t mean that is the only (or the best) way to do it.
For every older, experienced law that is stuck in their ways, there are numerous younger energetic lawyers who want to disrupt the system somehow.
The challenging part though is not coming with ideas – it’s implementing things. What barriers will you face? What advice will you get? What rules will you have to break?
What’s In Practice About?
Recently I released In Practice – Moving Beyond Law School Theory.
At its most fundamental the book is a story, it’s a story about Thomas, who’s a young lawyer wanting to embark upon a legal career and he wants to know the ropes, he wants to know how he can improve and excel and get better at his job, but he wants to do so within his own terms and his own framework.
This is a book for young lawyers, this is a book for young lawyers who want, maybe, to do something a bit different, who maybe want to do something a little bit out of the ordinary or look outside the box so far as their legal careers are concerned.
This is a book for the young lawyers who don’t necessarily think they want to squeeze themselves into the mold that has been set by the generations before.
Is your Mentor Stuck in the Times of the Past?
Uncle Andrew? Uncle Andrew is the bombastic, pompous, arrogant, older male lawyer that everyone has met, that everyone knows about, and who has some opinions that aren’t necessarily very well accepted anymore.
Thomas just wants to enjoy his legal career, he wants to do something he actually loves, he wants to be authentic, he wants to be emotionally invested in his career.
Uncle Andrew is his mentor or, at least, Uncle Andrew becomes his mentor. Uncle Andrew has a particular way of doing things, he knows what works and what doesn’t work, he has strong opinions about some things (as many lawyers do) and he genuinely wants to teach Thomas the way he thinks that law should be practised.
Not Another Law Text Book
This is not another law textbook, this is a story. I wanted to write a story, but I’m not actually that creative so I needed to write something that could get my message across, but wasn’t ultra-boring which is what most textbooks are.
Fundamentally the tension in the book comes from the discrepancy in world views between that of Thomas and that of Andrew.
Uncle Andrew wants to teach Thomas – he genuinely does – he wants to reach out and he wants to show Thomas how to succeed in his legal career.
But Thomas has ideas about what success looks like, Thomas has ideas about what a legal career should look like.
So it’s a clash of world views, it’s a clash of different opinions about how things should happen, it’s a clash of how things have always been done, and whether or not that is a good enough reason for how things should be done in the future.
What’s In the Book?
In the book you will find one side of a dialogue. You will find Uncle Andrew’s letters to Thomas throughout his career from when he was a law student, all the way through to when Thomas ends his career.
And in there you’re going to find how Uncle Andrew has decided to guide Thomas in those core practical areas. You’re going to find Uncle Andrew’s advice on communication, on business development and marketing, and on building your network.
You’re going to find Uncle Andrew’s guidance on career progression, and how to climb the corporate ladder, you’re going to find his advice on how to work with people, and how best to go about actually making money in a law firm.
And of course, within that frame, you’re going to have to think for yourself, “Does this align with my view?”, because some of Uncle Andrew’s advice does not necessarily align with current modern views of legal practice, and it might not align with yours.
The issues are there not to give you the answers, the issues are dealt with in the book so as to get you thinking, “What do I think about that issue? “What do I think about that topic?”.
In Practice is my way of sharing some fundamental legal skills, and I wanted to do it in a way that was approachable, that was easy to read, that didn’t come across just as another 4,000-page textbook, but would really get people thinking about what they wanted to achieve in their careers and how they wanted to go about reaching that success.