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How to Be a Lawyer The Path from Law School to Success

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2022-06-15
  • Publisher: Wiley

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Transform your legal education into a successful and fulfilling legal career

In How to Be a Lawyer: The Path from Law School to Success, a team of veteran lawyers and entrepreneurs delivers an eye-opening discussion of how to translate your years of training and education into a running start in the world of practice. The book bridges the gap between law school and practice, whether you hope to be a big firm transactional attorney, a solo criminal lawyer, work for the government or any other legal profession. You’ll discover how you can use what you learned in law school and how you can develop the real skills you’ll need as you deal with clients and colleagues.

The authors explain what your professors won’t tell you in law school and what employers and clients will actually expect from you. You’ll also find:

  • Case studies and guest chapters describing the transition to major areas of law and how it can and should affect your law school decision making
  • Expert advice on making your first job a successful one
  • Guidance on how to avoid the most common career pitfalls and client mistakes
  • Unfiltered opinions from clients about what they really think about lawyers

An ideal resource for aspiring and current law students and early career lawyers, How to Be a Lawyer is the practical blueprint you need to build your legal career from scratch.

Author Biography

JASON MENDELSON, JD, is a lawyer, entrepreneur, startup founder, venture capitalist, software engineer, criminal justice reformer and musician. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Law School for over a decade.

ALEX PAUL, JD, is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He co-founded Giving Place, an online philanthropy platform, as well as Wealthgate Trust Company and Family Office.

Table of Contents

About the Authors


Why We Wrote This Book

Chapter 1 The Divide Between Law School and Lawyering

Chapter 2 The Core Concepts of Lawyering


Listen First, Talk Second

Ask Questions

Always (Usually) Give Advice

Chapter 3 Classic Coursework (What Is It Good For?)



Civil Procedure


Criminal Law

Constitutional Law

Legal Methods/Writing/Research


Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Chapter 4 Choosing Proper Electives

Chapter 5 What Should You Get Out of Law School?

Chapter 6 Be a Fiduciary

Principle 1: Know If You’re Acting as a Fiduciary and on Whose Behalf

Principle 2: Slow Down

Principle 3: Seek Advice and Help

Principle 4: Always Put Your Clients’ Interests Ahead of Your Own

Chapter 7 A Short Primer on Negotiations

Negotiation Tactics

What Really Matters?

Preparing for the Negotiation

A Brief Introduction to Game Theory

Negotiating Win-Win Agreements

Negotiating Other Game

Negotiating Styles and Approaches

Collaborative Negotiation Versus Walk-Away Threats

Building Leverage and Getting to Yes

Chapter 8 Preparing for the Job Hunt

You on Paper

Social Media

Telling the Story

Networking into Employers

Career Placement Services

Chapter 9 The Bar Exam

Chapter 10 You Got the Job—There Is No Time for Rest

Chapter 11 The Fourteen Commandments for New Lawyers (Okay, How about “Strong Suggestions”?)

1: Have a Learning Mindset

2: Rely Upon but Mistrust Forms

3: Beware of the Foggy Project Trap

4: Never Consider Anything That Goes to a Senior Colleague or Client to Be a “Draft”

5: Be More Organized Than Others

6: Take Ownership Without Request

7: Invest in Your Management Skills

8: Have a Three-to-Five Year Horizon

9: Plan to Develop Near-Term and Long-Term Advantages

10: Understand How to Best Use and Foster Mentor Relationships

11: Flatten Hierarchies

12: Own Your Mistakes

13: Know What a Junior Lawyer’s Value Is

14: Keep Your Own List

Bonus Commandment for Those Working with Contracts!

Chapter 12 Common Mistakes New Lawyers Make That Limit Careers and Anger Clients

Forgetting You Are in the Services Industry

Getting Frustrated and Thinking People Are Idiots

Having Loose Lips

Assuming Each State Has the Same Laws

Treating Administrative Staff Poorly

Having a Sexual Relationship at Work

Being Inconsiderate of Others’ Calendars

Forgetting You Are the Leverage

You Forget Who the Client Is

Assuming Other Lawyers Are Good People

Shortchanging Research

Failing to Understand Basic Intellectual Property Law

Don’t Talk to Another Attorney’s Client Without the Attorney

Screwing UP Billing (If You Bill Clients by the Hour)

Chapter 13 Relationships, Difficult Personalities, and Being the Calmest Person in the Room

Challenging Personalities

The Lawyer’s Job When It Comes to Challenging Personalities

General Approaches to Managing Challenging Personalities

Sampling of Challenging Personalities and Tips for Dealing with Them

Parting Thoughts

Chapter 14 Understanding Current Technology

Chapter 15 Words from the Wise

Guest Chapter 1: Lynne Davis

Guest Chapter 2: Phil Weiser

Guest Chapter 3: Kenzo Kawanabe

Guest Chapter 4: Rachel Proffitt

Guest Chapter 5: Matt Baca

Guest Chapter 6: Kim Willoughby

Guest Chapter 7: Brad Bernthal

Guest Chapter 8: Jolene Yee

Guest Chapter 9: Greg Mann

Guest Chapter 10: Nicole Day

Guest Chapter 11: Lindsey Beran

Guest Chapter 12: Robyn T. Williams

Guest Chapter 13: Alfred Levitt

Guest Chapter 14: Nicholas Troxel and Josh Fitch

Guest Chapter 15: Emily Galvin Almanza

Guest Chapter 16: Jennifer Zimmerman

Guest Chapter 17: Margot Edwards

Guest Chapter 18: Jason Lynch

Guest Chapter 19: Randall Klein

Guest Chapter 20: Stacy Carter

Guest Chapter 21: Nikki Stitt Sokol

Guest Chapter 22: Ryan Day

Guest Chapter 23: Tyrone Glover

Guest Chapter 24: Will Foster

Chapter 16 What Clients Want

What Clients Liked

What Clients Didn’t Like

Chapter 17 Law School as a “Second Career”

Entrance into Law School

Getting a Job

Chapter 18 Understanding the Importance of Law School Rankings on Your Future

Chapter 19 How to Be a Happy Lawyer

Have an Identity Outside of Being a Lawyer

Take Pride in Your Work and the Impact It has on Others

Keep a Continually Learning Mindset

Don’t Get Too Wrapped Up in Your Work

Manage Your Stress

Watch Your Drug Consumption

Never Compromise Your Value System

Don’t Forget to Laugh and Celebrate the Wins

Internalize the Losses, But Don’t Dwell on Them

Work with Clients You Really Like

Have a Great Surrounding Team

Set Boundaries for Your Personal Life

What to Do When You Are Not Happy

Chapter 20 What If You Don’t Want to Be a Lawyer Anymore?

Chapter 21 Let’s Sum Up

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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