What qualities do you typically look for when searching for your “ideal” attorney to take on a new legal matter?
Like many people, the first attribute that may have popped into your head is experience. By experience, you may mean legal experience, or a strong familiarity with a legal problem you have previously faced. Your ideal attorney is likely one with decades of experience dealing with your legal problem (and perhaps a bit of gray hair too).
Experience is certainly an important attribute when seeking legal representation, however, there is more to consider when making such an important choice. New attorneys often make significant contributions to cases.
Certainly, they bring the three “Es” to any engagement – Energy, Eagerness and Experience. Let’s start with “Experience” because you may be wondering why I would suggest new lawyers have this quality.
New attorneys have valuable experience outside the law, and they provide unique perspective. Just because a new lawyer recently passed the bar exam, doesn’t mean they lack experience as it relates in some meaningful way to the legal question confronting you. In fact, having a new lawyer assigned to your case may contribute to a more creative argument, strategy or approach to resolving your issue.
Experience can lead you to approach an issue a particular way, but the tried and true may not always be the best approach – thinking out of the box from a different perspective may be an advantage. Sometimes a new attorney’s fresh perspective, for example, is all that is needed to help shape an argument into one that the opposing counsel hasn’t anticipated.
Plus, new lawyers typically have technology skills that are sometimes superior to their more experienced colleagues. Being a member of the social media generation, one raised with a strong technology presence, is helpful experience for what is becoming, post-pandemic, a video driven litigation environment. Strong technological skills are necessary for navigating this new normal.
New attorneys also bring energy and eagerness to the legal profession. There is a reason why in many large law firms associates outnumber partners. In essence, what new attorneys lack in legal experience, they make up for with energy and eagerness to develop practical knowledge and new skills.
It may take a new attorney, like myself, a bit longer to write a motion or a brief. However, that may only be because of our passion for learning and willingness to try new approaches to solving old problems. Extra time also becomes a factor because we are typically testing boundaries and established “best practices.”
New attorneys are looking to develop unique ways to solve legal problems with ideas and methodologies that, over time, will appeal to younger clients, jurors and even judges. With that in mind, adding a young lawyer to your legal team may just be the strategic advantage you need!
Brooke A. Nosanchuk is a member of Plunkett Cooney's Commercial Litigation Practice Group. She focuses her practice on real property, contract disputes, business torts and banking conflicts.
Ms. Nosanchuk represents financial ...
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