Verdict - Fall 2015 - (Page 44)

> neW LaWyers' corNer Five Tips for Hanging your Shingle By ron Daniels THIS NOvEMBEr I WILL have been be a poor choice. And as my Granny said about to pay them to be your assistant. ideally, licensed to practice law for three years. i a methodist minister who lasted only a few your practice will grow to a point where am by no means an expert in how to hang months at a local church, "sometimes folks that becomes necessary. While the prac- a shingle. But having just gone through the just don't take to one another." Selecting a tice of law is rewarding at times, very few process of opening my own practice, i have mentor who is a fantastic trial lawyer but you of us would work for free or for minimum a few words of wisdom and advice shared are not compatible with will be of little help. wage. that is precisely the position you may with me by other lawyers and a few things i one of the most helpful things for my practice find yourself in if you get too big too fast. was my decision to share office space with a on day one you have whatever money you more experienced lawyer. Being able to stick have saved up. You may not have any cli- 1 learned along the way. my head in his office and ask questions has ents. You will have some expenses and will Practicing law alone is tough. Sometimes helped me immensely. he gives me contract need to incur more expenses in furtherance you get trial dementia. Sometimes you work and associates me on some of his files. of signing up clients. You also will want to become so involved in a case or a client's this helps make sure i have an income and pay yourself. Adding a salaried employee, cause and you can't see the trees for the for- my practice benefits from his experience. such as an assistant, to this equation means est. or maybe you simply run into a situation unequivocally, i am a better lawyer because you will earn less money. And you will be you have never encountered and you have of my mentor. tempted to take cases you shouldn't take FIND A MENTOr no idea how to handle. When you work in a firm you have someone to ground you in reality, to bounce ideas off, and someone to ask 2 STAY SMALL to help subsidize the cost of your assistant. Let me be clear: you will need to spend money When i first told a fellow member to get your firm going. i practiced out of my of GtL A i was opening my own firm he home as long as i could. i used my macBook responded with two simple words: "Stay Air as long as i could. i recycled file folders small." i heeded these words of caution and and red welds as long as i could. don't cave am glad i did. Leaving a firm and suddenly into the pressure to purchase brand new of Georgia's transition into Law Program and finding yourself doing routine administra- computers, huge desks, and an assistant. were assigned a mentor as a part of the pro- tive tasks is tough. Confession: i struggle Your firm's cash flow will thank you at the gram. don't limit yourself to your former men- to fold letters neatly. this leads - almost tors or lawyers who practice the same type of immediately - to you trying to figure out if law as you. A mentor can be any lawyer with you can afford an administrative assistant. more experience than you, although i caution don't do it. the business end of a law firm you to select a mentor wisely. For instance, a is a strange beast for most lawyers. We mentor who is poorly regarded in your com- are not generally the best executives. the munity may not be the best person to model temptation is to find someone to handle your practice after. A well-respected lawyer administrative functions (like folding let- its and pretend i understand the difference who is too busy to answer questions may also ters or filling out certified mail cards) and between credits and debits. But i would spend about unfamiliar situations. Finding a mentor may be the most important thing for new lawyers to do before hanging their own shingle. most (if not all) of us completed the State Bar 44 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association 3 end of the year. HIrE A BOOKKEEPEr one of the first decisions i made was to hire a bookkeeper. i discovered very quickly i am not an accountant. Sure, i could figure out Quickbooks and input checks and depos-

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Verdict - Fall 2015

President’s Message
What’s New at HQ
Tips for Selecting and Implementing a New Case Management System
How I Obtained Justice for My Client
What You Need to Know About Mass Torts & Multidistrict Litigation
London Calling: Navigating the Waters When Taking a Deposition Overseas
Ethical and Practical Considerations of Co-Counseling
Avoiding Landmines: Identifying, Locating and Serving the Non-U.S. Corporate Defendant
Powerful Weapons: Public-Private Alliances Between State Attorneys General and Private Lawyers
Multidistrict Litigation: Friend or Foe?
Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery
Getting Out-of-State Evidence: Domesticating a Subpoena
New Lawyers’ Corner: Five Tips for Hanging your Shingle
Case Updates: What’s New?
Workers’ Comp Updates
Champion Members
Welcome New GTLA Members!
Index to Advertisers

Verdict - Fall 2015