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What lawyers appreciate…

By December 29, 2006law practice

We enjoy representing clients who have genuine problems, clients who value thoughtful advice, and who understand the risks of going to court and are willing to compromise when that makes sense  —but who are willing to prepare fully for going to court, if necessary. 

Lawyers appreciate judges who have keen instincts and are able to find the equitable center of gravity in a case quickly.  We appreciate judges who are impatient but polite, who know the legal principles and apply them in most cases —but who are willing to do justice, without guidance from precedent, if that’s what makes the most sense.

Lawyers appreciate other lawyers who fight hard, but are fair and straightforward.  Lawyers appreciate colleagues who can see when common ground is possible and practical, and when it is not.  Lawyers live in a world of conflict, and the best ones know how to minimize conflict, not just how to augment it.

Lawyers appreciate a legal system that allows differences to be resolved efficiently and sensibly.  They appreciate this even when they wind up losing a case.  The best lawyers appreciate that which helps the system as a whole, and they put the system’s interests ahead of their own personal and parochial interests.  Of course, they do this only when it is consistent with their obligation to zealously represent their client. 

What I strive to appreciate is how difficult it is for clients, lawyers, and judges to balance their own views against the views of a larger group. I hope that somehow we find a way to do this better than we are now, although we do it much better here in this country than in most other nations.  And that’s what I appreciate most of all.

The foregoing is my response to Monica.  I hereby call on Evan Schaeffer, Marty Schwimmer and Tony Collelulori to offer their thoughts as to ‘what lawyers appreciate.’

P.S. If you're a practicing lawyer, check out this Law Practice Assessment . After answering a few questions, you'll get detailed recommendations for improving five key areas of your practice.
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