ARTICLE
12 April 2024

Learning By Doing Is An Important Part Of Career Development

FL
Foley & Lardner

Contributor

Foley & Lardner LLP looks beyond the law to focus on the constantly evolving demands facing our clients and their industries. With over 1,100 lawyers in 24 offices across the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia, Foley approaches client service by first understanding our clients’ priorities, objectives and challenges. We work hard to understand our clients’ issues and forge long-term relationships with them to help achieve successful outcomes and solve their legal issues through practical business advice and cutting-edge legal insight. Our clients view us as trusted business advisors because we understand that great legal service is only valuable if it is relevant, practical and beneficial to their businesses.
A recent conversation with a Foley colleague reminded me of a key lesson I learned as a junior attorney from a senior partner in my practice group...
United States Law Department Performance
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A recent conversation with a Foley colleague reminded me of a key lesson I learned as a junior attorney from a senior partner in my practice group: Take a position on an issue, be ready to defend it, and learn along the way.

It brought back a flood of memories of the times I had approached this senior partner to get their thoughts on certain issues in an agreement markup I was working on. On one occasion, whether because of exhaustion, confusion, extreme complexity, or some other reason, I blankly asked "Does this make sense to you? What should our position be?"

The partner responded: "Well, what do you think? That is why we hired you and are paying you. I want your opinion on the issue." It felt blunt but totally accurate. The partner wasn't being mean but was imploring me to invest more in the markup so I could learn from that exercise instead of just giving me the answer.

It's a lesson that still resonates with me today.

Everyone at one point or another has been confused and exhausted. It doesn't mean you're not ready or that you're not capable. It means you're human. Being a solid lawyer takes time and experience.

And as you accumulate that experience, embrace it, and don't let fear limit you from analyzing and taking ownership of your work.

You learn by doing in this profession – it is one of the things that I love most about it!

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

ARTICLE
12 April 2024

Learning By Doing Is An Important Part Of Career Development

United States Law Department Performance

Contributor

Foley & Lardner LLP looks beyond the law to focus on the constantly evolving demands facing our clients and their industries. With over 1,100 lawyers in 24 offices across the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia, Foley approaches client service by first understanding our clients’ priorities, objectives and challenges. We work hard to understand our clients’ issues and forge long-term relationships with them to help achieve successful outcomes and solve their legal issues through practical business advice and cutting-edge legal insight. Our clients view us as trusted business advisors because we understand that great legal service is only valuable if it is relevant, practical and beneficial to their businesses.
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