Be a solid lawyer
A solid attorney stands the test of time and has learned the secret of building relationships. Take the time to build relationships and know that this is one of the most important skills
Be a solid lawyer. The new year often brings resolutions. Unfortunately, resolutions fade quickly. The way decisions become reality is through determination. Lawyers must accept the meaning of stability. The first time you meet with a customer, they have decisions to guide you and your representation of them. However, it is up to you to have their lawyer uphold their wishes to the end.
Groups of people who organize themselves often start with resolutions. However, when they write their organizational goals, they don’t use the word solution. They often use the phrase, “we choose to.” The resolution is the wish; end of the action.
“Resultus” is the Latin word for determined, meaning open to action. In fact, the word result is also a definition of the word determine. Persistence by its very nature will bring results.
Be firm in your long-term goals but be flexible. It’s like a mountain climber who focuses on getting to the top of a mountain. Their footprints may change along the way. They didn’t plan every single step so they could adjust how they would reach their goal. Sometimes you have to go down to go up, sometimes you have to switch sides.
To be successful in our work, we need a lot of perseverance and determination. As we begin another new year, I think this is a good time to review some of the qualities of a solid lawyer and why they are important. A solid lawyer is disciplined, has strong values, perseveres through adversity, and develops long-term relationships.
A solid attorney can cut through the clutter and focus on the important issues that need action. Many things will compete for your time and attention as a lawyer. Discipline is necessary for managing time and becoming a barrier to unimportant things that constantly compete for your attention. It also takes discipline to set the pace for others in your company. When discipline is strong it tends to follow. Honesty is contagious, while others appreciate working with someone who is always moving forward with action.
Solid lawyers stick to their values. When your values are clear to everyone in your company, the decision-making process becomes easier. If a policy or action does not align with your core values, the conclusion is clear. Knowing your values is important to your practice. It is very important to define and accurately define the critical relationships. A solid lawyer takes this position as a priority. Values keep the attorney honest and provide direction.
A solid lawyer can work with others who don’t share the same values. A lawyer’s work is often limited in scope. This limitation of scope gives a solid lawyer the ability to work with those who disagree on many other things. A solid lawyer who builds agreement on small things is often the most important to the success of the client’s case.
Many lawyers face difficulties. The test is not whether you will face challenges but how you respond to them and how quickly you can put them behind you. The strength of a solid lawyer is not developed in difficulties but is shown in difficulties. Your ability to overcome adversity grows over time and is a maturity level. A solid lawyer will not back down from difficulties but will see them as another important step in their growth.
A solid lawyer is a relationship builder. The main reason is that legal work in a vacuum is very limited. The success of a solid lawyer is tied to the success of those around them. A solid attorney stands the test of time and has learned the secret of building relationships. Take the time to build relationships and know that this is one of the most important skills. In short, solid lawyers are leaders.
We have many things to be thankful for the honest lawyers who came before us. Steadfast lawyers like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both built our country and wrote a constitution that has held our country together for hundreds of years. A determined lawyer named Abraham Lincoln through sheer force of will kept our union together. There are many established lawyers today. In fact, we all know many of them.
Courageous lawyers learn to face adversity, gain the discipline to lead themselves and others, build relationships, and be passionate about the future. Whatever happens, lawyers expect stability. After all, why choose to be honest if you don’t think the future is worth fighting for. Through hard work and perseverance, the future is bright for those who choose to be honest. When your values are aligned with your vision you can move forward with confidence knowing that today can be good and tomorrow can be better. Let us all choose to be solid lawyers.
Jim Vickaryous is the managing partner of the Vickaryous Law Firm in Lake Mary and represents the 18th Circuit on the Florida Bar Board of Governors.