How to become competent in a field of practice not covered in school

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Mike13w

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How to become competent in a field of practice not covered in school

Postby Mike13w » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:57 am

I've been a long time lurker on TLS during my time in law school and I have a question geared mostly towards solo practitioners or attorneys who don't like leaning on others.

I've accepted a kinda unique position as a part-time prosecutor where I'll also be allowed to take on civil clients as a solo practitioner. My salary will be enough to pay the bills to operate my solo practice, and I feel really feel great about my odds of being successful on my own, but my big concern is how to make myself "competent" to practice in certain areas. I know having mentors and other attorneys is the most important thing a young lawyer can do, but in areas like bankruptcy or SSI I just don't have an experienced attorney I would feel comfortable asking for help, since I'll be in a small town directly competing for business against them.

I'm curious as to what resources are out there that I can uses learn about topics that I didn't take a class on in law school. I feel like I'm clueless about the procedures to handle particular cases that have a big market here. Mostly SSI, worker's comp, and bankruptcy. I'm aware of Solo Practice University and Law Line. Any recommendations of how to get myself ready to practice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

lolwat

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Re: How to become competent in a field of practice not covered in school

Postby lolwat » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:48 am

Treatises are great. And see if there are local bar groups for the practices you're in. Like if your bar association has a bankruptcy section if that's what you'll be doing.

Also, somewhat surprisingly to me, people are often willing to help even when it doesn't directly benefit them and even if you're technically a "competitor" for the same kind of work. I've been very pleasantly surprised in at least two practice areas how many people are willing to give some advice about procedure, share sample filings, even talk to me about how to break into & start generating business in their practice area.

spud3000

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Re: How to become competent in a field of practice not covered in school

Postby spud3000 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:17 pm

Definitely join your state/local bar associations. They often have list-servs where people bounce questions off of each other. Also, your bar association will often have some sort of practical guide to a certain type of practice, in addition to CLE courses. The practical guide is a great place to start to get a high-level overview of where a certain case may take you.

Mike13w

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Re: How to become competent in a field of practice not covered in school

Postby Mike13w » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:25 am

lolwat wrote:Treatises are great. And see if there are local bar groups for the practices you're in. Like if your bar association has a bankruptcy section if that's what you'll be doing.

Also, somewhat surprisingly to me, people are often willing to help even when it doesn't directly benefit them and even if you're technically a "competitor" for the same kind of work. I've been very pleasantly surprised in at least two practice areas how many people are willing to give some advice about procedure, share sample filings, even talk to me about how to break into & start generating business in their practice area.


I don't know how I didn't think of treatises. Always leaned on them in App. Ad. and LW, but it never even occurred to me to use them in practice :oops: Thanks!



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