As a lawyer with a thriving practice, it can be a challenge to take time for self-reflection and an honest assessment of how your practice is doing. Even if you're winning cases and your track record is good, there are always things you can do to improve your practice and become a better attorney. Here are two ways you can start improving.
One of the best ways to get an idea of what your clients think of you is to ask them. While you might not ask their opinion of you while you're working on their case, after their claim has been resolved, you may want to pick their brain about what they considered your strengths and weaknesses. Their feedback might help you to be a better listener, explain things differently and generally improve your communication skills so that new clients can benefit from the changes. To find out what they think, you might include a survey with your bill or other final documents and provide a small discount to those who return a complete survey.
Clients are not the only people that you need feedback from. As the owner of the law practice, you are likely to employ paralegals and administrative assistants. When you give them their yearly evaluation, allow them to give you an evaluation as well. You might learn something you didn't know about your behavior as a boss, and your employees will enjoy being given the opportunity to share their thoughts.
Take More Than the Required Continuing Education Credits
Like all lawyers in your state, you are required to get credits of Minimum Continuing Legal Education, or MCLE. Every state has different requirements; every three years in California, for instance, lawyers must get 25 hours of credit. It can be a challenge to make time for these credits, but doing so can offer you the opportunity to delve deeper into your practice specialty and learn more about case law that is changing and new precedents that have been set. The more you can find out about the work that you do, the more assistance you can offer your clients and the better you will litigate.
These are just a couple of things you can pay attention to if you truly aim to be at the top of your field. Be sure to talk to mentors like those at TalksOnLaw and colleagues about more ways you can be a sought-after lawyer.