Jinjuice wrote: ↑
Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:22 pm
How’s everyone doing. I took some advice here and went solo. But man I still don’t have much trial experience or deposition experience but I’m not afraid to do it, what did you guys do to gain that experience?
Being out on your own and learning everything is fun but at the same time what do we do about shortage of experience?
Fake it 'till you make it
Seriously, though, there are three different aspects to "shortage of experience":
1) talking to clients/consults. Know your limitations, but also know what other possibilities are out there. If you have a mentor, don't be afraid to push the envelope of what you believe you can deliver, but don't go overboard.
2) the actual work. study, study, study. What I mean with that is, find out about as much of your specialty as you can, what exists, what's possible. If you feel something is within the realm of possibility, you can discuss with a client, and if you get retained, research the sh-t out of it, find out everything you can, and, most importantly, talk to your mentor.
3) what you don't know you don't know. Unfortunately, things may creep up. Even if you've done X a dozen times, that doesn't mean you've come across every issue. Hopefully you can avoid the big and/or common mistakes by researching, reading, and talking to your mentor. When something new and unexpected creeps up, recognize the potential issue, and stop. Especially when you're getting more comfortable, it's too easy to come up with a quick solution and think it'll work. Don't be overconfident. Don't just think it through, research your answer, and ask your mentor.
If you noticed one common thread here, it's having mentors. This doesn't need to be a grizzly expert who's seen it all and done it all and made you his/her heir apparent. It could be other solos who are willing to split fees with you, or it could be someone at a larger law firm who doesn't mind letting you pick their brain from time to time. It doesn't even have to be someone in the same state. Perhaps you are on one of the many forums or list-serv out there and can bounce your issue off a hive mind. Or you happen to have one acquaintance who somehow can see everything clearly. As a matter of fact, you also want non-lawyer mentors, to discuss the business side of being a solo, or marketing, or IT.
Basically, you need people you can turn to for advice.