Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

3 Ways to Boost Positivity and Professionalism

Where do you stand on lawyer jokes? Do you take it personally when someone disparages what you do? Does it take a thick skin to be successful in the law?

These and similar questions ran through my mind after I read a post on the NCBA BarBlog written by Greensboro attorney Adam Linett titled How to Promote a Positive View of Lawyers.

What I like about it is that the author keeps it simple. 

Rather than suggest a raft of changes that should be made to the profession in general and our personalities in particular, Linett offers three simple suggestions for turning lemons into lemonade. 

“We may not all be Atticus Finch, but we can inspire others and honor our profession by keeping our word, being punctual, and promoting resolutions,” he writes. “By individually doing our best to set a good example, we can collectively rescue our profession from the negative perceptions that surround it.”

Keep reading for more highlights from Adam’s post.

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How to Turn Perceptions Around

  • Honor your word. “People from all backgrounds hate being lied to and hate being manipulated. And it does not take years of education to see whether a person is genuine and trustworthy. This advice is especially true for young attorneys because a good reputation can be very easy to lose. When you deal with the same people daily – say, in a criminal defense practice – your reputation with the same group of prosecutors (and other defense attorneys) is paramount,” writes Linett.
  • Be on time. “Yes, we are all busy. [But] our failure to respond timely or appropriately to another lawyer or the court may say a lot about what we think about them. On the other hand, a professional and timely response costs us very little.”
  • Promote resolutions, not conflicts. “It is easy to get tied emotionally to a client’s position. However, our clients hire us to provide objective legal advice and obtain a resolution,” writes Linett. “Our purpose should focus on our clients’ needs and cases, not self-promotion.”

SOURCE: How to Promote a Positive View of Lawyers and the Legal Profession – NCBarBlog


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About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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