How to be a great lawyer

Some wise advice from Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler, courtesy of Gail J. Cohen at Canadian Lawyer‘s Legal Feeds blog:

1.    Law is a helping profession. Help others without looking for something in return.

2.    People want to help you. Graciously give them the opportunity to do so. “Everything good that happened to me came from others,” said Winkler. As far as he’s concerened, there’s no such thing as climbing the ladder to success. Success comes from getting a hand from above to help pull you up the ladder.

3.    Respect your elders. Respect your youngers. Respect those of the same age. Respect your peers. Basically, treat everyone with kindness and respect.

4.    Be loyal. Loyalty begets loyalty.

5.    Do not exaggerate. Do not mislead the court.

6.    Get a mentor. Get several mentors.

7.    Be a mentor. Mentoring is a two-way street and you are never too old or too young to have or be a mentor.

8.    Always go to events early. That way the next person who comes in has to meet you and they’ll most likely remember you.

9.    Join organizations and speak at any event that you’re asked to. Winkler said he often got new clients that way.

10.    If you have no work, go to your office anyway. You never know what will crop up.

11.    Take advice from your mother, your grandmother, your granddaughter. . . .

12.    Get a dog. Buy a lot of CDs. Read a lot of books. Clients want you to be balanced. And following on that, Winkler said: “If you have doing doing what you’re doing, people will want to work with you.”

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