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How to Be a Lawyer Jason Mendelson

How to Be a Lawyer By Jason Mendelson

How to Be a Lawyer by Jason Mendelson

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How to Be a Lawyer Summary

How to Be a Lawyer: The Path from Law School to Success by Jason Mendelson

Transform your legal education into a successful and fulfilling legal career

In How to Be a Lawyer: The Path from Law School to Success, a team of veteran lawyers and entrepreneurs delivers an eye-opening discussion of how to translate your years of training and education into a running start in the world of practice. The book bridges the gap between law school and practice, whether you hope to be a big firm transactional attorney, a solo criminal lawyer, work for the government or any other legal profession. You'll discover how you can use what you learned in law school and how you can develop the real skills you'll need as you deal with clients and colleagues.

The authors explain what your professors won't tell you in law school and what employers and clients will actually expect from you. You'll also find:

  • Case studies and guest chapters describing the transition to major areas of law and how it can and should affect your law school decision making
  • Expert advice on making your first job a successful one
  • Guidance on how to avoid the most common career pitfalls and client mistakes
  • Unfiltered opinions from clients about what they really think about lawyers

An ideal resource for aspiring and current law students and early career lawyers, How to Be a Lawyer is the practical blueprint you need to build your legal career from scratch.

About Jason Mendelson

JASON MENDELSON, JD, is a lawyer, entrepreneur, startup founder, venture capitalist, software engineer, criminal justice reformer and musician. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Law School for over a decade.

ALEX PAUL, JD, is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He co-founded Giving Place, an online philanthropy platform, as well as Wealthgate Trust Company and Family Office.

Table of Contents

About the Authors xv

Acknowledgmentsxiii xv

Why We Wrote This Book 1

Chapter 1 The Divide Between Law School and Lawyering 5

Chapter 2 The Core Concepts of Lawyering 11

Empathy 12

Listen First, Talk Second 16

Ask Questions 17

Always (Usually) Give Advice 18

Chapter 3 Understanding the Importance of Law School Rankings on Your Future 23

Chapter 4 Classic Coursework (What Is It Good For?) 27

Torts 28

Contracts 28

Civil Procedure 33

Property 33

Criminal Law 34

Constitutional Law 34

Legal Methods/Writing/Research 35

Evidence 36

Ethics and Professional Responsibility 36

Chapter 5 Choosing Proper Electives 39

Chapter 6 What Should You Get Out of Law School? 43

Chapter 7 Be a Fiduciary 45

Principle 1: Know If You're Acting as a Fiduciary and on Whose Behalf 46

Principle 2: Slow Down 49

Principle 3: Seek Advice and Help 50

Principle 4: Always Put Your Clients' Interests Ahead of Your Own 50

Chapter 8 A Short Primer on Negotiations 53

Negotiation Tactics 54

What Really Matters? 54

Preparing for the Negotiation 55

A Brief Introduction to Game Theory 57

Negotiating Win- Win Agreements 59

Negotiating Other Games 60

Negotiating Styles and Approaches 61

Collaborative Negotiation Versus Walk- Away Threats 65

Building Leverage and Getting to Yes 66

Chapter 9 Preparing for the Job Hunt 69

You on Paper 69

Social Media 70

Telling the Story 71

Networking into Employers 71

Mindset 72

Career Placement Services 72

Chapter 10 The Bar Exam 73

Chapter 11 You Got the Job- There Is No Time for Rest 75

Chapter 12 The Fourteen Commandments for New Lawyers (Okay, How about Strong Suggestions?)7

1: Have a Learning Mindset 77

2: Rely On but Mistrust Forms 78

3: Beware of the Foggy Project Trap 79

4: Never Consider Anything That Goes to a Senior Colleague or Client to Be a Draft 79

5: Be More Organized Than Others 80

6: Take Ownership Without Request 81

7: Invest in Your Management Skills 81

8: Have a Three- to Five-Year Horizon 82

9: Plan to Develop Near- Term and Long- Term Advantages 83

10: Understand How to Best Use and Foster Mentor Relationships 85

11: Flatten Hierarchies 86

12: Own Your Mistakes 88

13: Know What a Junior Lawyer's Value Is 88

14: Keep Your Own List 88

Bonus Commandment for Those Working with Contracts! 88

Chapter 13 Common Mistakes New Lawyers Make That Limit Careers and Anger Clients 89

Chapter 14 Relationships, Difficult Personalities, and Being the Calmest Person in the Room 95

Forgetting You Are in the Services Industry 89

Getting Frustrated and Thinking People Are Idiots 89

Having Loose Lips 90

Assuming Each State Has the Same Laws 90

Treating Administrative Staff Poorly 90

Having a Sexual Relationship at Work 91

Being Inconsiderate of Others' Calendars 91

Forgetting You Are the Leverage 91

Forgetting Who the Client Is 92

Assuming Other Lawyers Are Good People 92

Shortchanging Research 93

Failing to Understand Basic Intellectual Property Law 93

Talking to Another Attorney's Client Without the Attorney 93

Screwing Up Billing (If You Bill Clients by the Hour) 93

Challenging Personalities 96

The Lawyer's Job When It Comes to Challenging Personalities 98

General Approaches to Managing Challenging Personalities 99

Sampling of Challenging Personalities and Tips for Dealing with Them 103

Parting Thoughts 112

Chapter 15 Understanding Current Technology 115

Chapter 16 Words from the Wise 117

Guest Chapter 1: Lynne Davis 120

Guest Chapter 2: Phil Weiser 126

Guest Chapter 3: Kenzo Kawanabe 130

Guest Chapter 4: Rachel Proffitt 138

Guest Chapter 5: Matt Baca 145

Guest Chapter 6: Kimberly R. Willoughby 151

Guest Chapter 7: Brad Bernthal 158

Guest Chapter 8: Jolene A. Yee 164

Guest Chapter 9: Gregory Mann 174

Guest Chapter 10: Nicole Day 181

Guest Chapter 11: Lindsey Beran 187

Guest Chapter 12: Robyn T. Williams 192

Guest Chapter 13: Alfred Levitt 201

Guest Chapter 14: Nicholas Troxel and Josh Fitch 207

Guest Chapter 15: Emily Galvin Almanza 219

Guest Chapter 16: Jennifer R. Zimmerman 228

Guest Chapter 17: Margot S. Edwards 236

Guest Chapter 18: Jason M. Lynch 241

Guest Chapter 19: Randy Klein 245

Guest Chapter 20: Stacy Carter 253

Guest Chapter 21: Nikki Stitt Sokol 259

Guest Chapter 22: Ryan Day 264

Guest Chapter 23: Tyrone Glover 269

Guest Chapter 24: William E. Foster 275

Chapter 17 What Clients Want 283

What Clients Liked 284

What Clients Didn't Like 286

Chapter 18 Law School as a Second Career 289

Entrance into Law School 289

Getting a Job 291

Chapter 19 How to Be a Happy Lawyer 293

Have an Identity Outside of Being a Lawyer 294

Take Pride in Your Work and the Impact It Has on Others 294

Keep a Continually Learning Mindset 295

Don't Get Too Wrapped Up in Your Work 295

Manage Your Stress 295

Watch Your Drug Consumption 296

Never Compromise Your Value System 297

Don't Forget to Laugh and Celebrate the Wins 297

Internalize the Losses, But Don't Dwell on Them 298

Work with Clients You Really Like 298

Have a Great Surrounding Team 298

Set Boundaries for Your Personal Life 298

What to Do When You Are Not Happy 299

Chapter 20 What If You Don't Want to Be a Lawyer Anymore? 301

Chapter 21 Let's Sum Up 305

Index 307

Additional information

How to Be a Lawyer: The Path from Law School to Success by Jason Mendelson
John Wiley & Sons Inc
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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