Wednesday, November 16, 2005

on being a real lawyer

So I recently had my first experience interviewing clients, putting my appearance on the records, taking pleas, etc.  It was exciting.  I like interviewing clients, meeting with them, talking about what they're all about and what happened to them.  Getting the court lingo down is a whole different story.  At this point, it's a pretty steep learning curve.  What I'm discovering is that I have a fundamental gap between figuring out how things are done and figuring out why things are done that way.  It's easy enough to get up and just do what an experienced lawyer tells you to do.  What I want to know is WHY I'm saying what I'm saying, and what the other possible options could be.  Today I hit a breaking point when one attorney flew by on his way up to the podium and told me to get up and do XYZ.  I was startled, a bit caught off guard, and the judge started addressing that attorney on the matter so I never got the chance to speak, which was fine by me.  He later said, "You're going to have to do it.  Don't be afraid, it won't bite."  I was riled because I'm certainly not afraid to get up in front of a judge.  I have always been arrogant enough to think that I know best, and now is no different.  I'm ready to take on the system, I think I'll be THE badass who gets the system in line, and I couldn't even tell you how it was amiss, since I'm brand new.  So I'm not afraid of judges.  But I'm sure as hell terrified to get up and say something if I don't know why I'm saying it, and why I'm saying that as opposed to something else, and what the consequences of my words will be.  I understand I should get up and say XYZ in ABC type cases.  But why?  What does an ABC case really entail?  How does the XYZ resolve that issue? 
My experience varies from attorney to attorney, so I can't impute my experience to all attorneys in my office.  I think I finally realized today why some of my days are not so productive - because even though I might be saying and doing things, I'm still not exactly sure why.
How are you?


T said...

I don't know what XYZ stands for, but it sounds hot.

Sanchovilla said...

Sometimes you really need to focus more on the Z and stay away from the X and the Y. For good measure you can always throw in a Q and P.

Nice to read a post from you...I was beginning to think the new office had you locked in at night without a computer.

Audacity said...

The answer to why you have to say XYZ is because "that's the way it's always been done and we don't want to piss off the prosecutors."


Blonde Justice said...

Ask me anything! Not that I'll know, of course.