LIV President's Blog 2014

LIV President's Blog 2014

Geoff Bowyer, LIV President 2014 on the latest issues and topics. Read and comment.

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Eight top tips for being the best lawyer possible in 2015

Eight top tips for being the best lawyer possible in 2015

Where has this year gone? I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed bringing you these blogs this year – and the great comments I receive have not only surprised me but have inspired me. But here it is – my last blog! I’ve been reviewing the stats of the blogs this year, and found the most popular ones and from this I’ve compiled my top eight tips for being the best possible lawyer you can be in 2015. Here goes:

 

 

 

 

  1. Have an organised, manageable inbox: I started the year with an overwhelming 4,000 plus emails in my inbox. However, after cutting down the emails I receive (subscriptions, alerts); setting up folders; and committing to respond to difficult emails promptly, I’m pleased to say I have an organised inbox of less than 1500 which I intend to whittle down to 200 by year end. It reduces my stress and makes it much easier to find what I need. I recommend you try cleaning up your email before heading off on leave.
     
  2. Commit to be happier at work: I’m lucky in that I love my job – but the reality of commercial law can be less inspiring for some. At the recent LIV Christmas party, I quizzed young lawyers on how much they enjoyed their job using a rating of one to ten. For those gave a score lower than seven, I urged them to change either to a new role, or to challenge their organisation to change their roles or the way in which they operate. I actively work at emphasizing the positives of what I do, including embracing the fantastic human interactions I am privileged to have every day; always striving to master new skills; keeping in mind the future I’m striving towards; and trying to be generous with my time and advice when it can help. While we can’t be happy all the time, I believe we can all be that bit happier at work in 2015.
     
  3. Focus on breaking bad habits: Talking in legalese; not keeping detailed file notes or documenting client instructions; or, a common one, avoiding the cost question, are all common bad habits of lawyers. Check my blog on lawyers’ bad habits and see if you are guilty of any – then make a commitment to break it in 2015.
     
  4. Slow down your life: You’ve identified that you are just too busy and it’s making your sick and miserable. 2015 is the year to simplify your life by learning to say no; cutting down on unnecessary activities; delegating more; and making sure your prioritise important things like family and exercise. Trust me, your family and friends will thank you for it.
     
  5. Find a job you love: It’s hard to be happy at work if you hate your job – or even if you’re simply bored and unchallenged by it. So whether you have a new boss you don’t get on with; you can’t seem to get that promotion; or toxic colleagues are making you sick with stress - 2015 is the time to move on. So start polishing your resume, get some advice from trusted colleagues, update your LinkedIn profile and start reaching out to your network. Don’t let fear or apathy be your enemy - a job you can love may be just around the corner.
     
  6. Download a new app to improve your productivity: There are so many apps out there that can help you to do your job better – you just can’t afford to ignore them. Why not pick at least one from my blog Eight apps that can make you a more productive lawyer and start using it. You just might find (like me) that you are left wondering how you lived without it.
     
  7. Mind your Ps & Qs: Believe it or not, this year’s most popular blog was about lawyers’ etiquette. Let’s face it, the legal profession has its fair share of unwritten rules, and everything from how to address the judge; dress in court and office; technology manners; and client relationships are a potential mind field. I think having a good understanding of lawyers etiquette can make you a more confident and effective lawyer, so it’s worth a refresher every now and then!
     
  8. Show your appreciation for a job well done: I don’t think we take enough time to thank those around us, and show our appreciation for a job well done. And that’s what I’d like to do now. I have been constantly impressed by the number of LIV members that give up their time and expertise to help fight for a better legal system. So to all those members who got involved through a committee, assisted develop a submission, volunteered in young lawyer  community  projects, provided advice or who heeded the call of our Call To The Parties and engaged with their local member I say a heart-felt thank you as you make a difference . You make the LIV what it is today and I look forward to seeing what exciting things we can all achieve together next year.

But wait, there’s more! I leave you with one final tip - that is, to believe in yourself more next year. If you dare to dream, more often than not you can make your dreams a reality. So there you have it – my final top tips to help you be the best lawyer you can possibly be in 2015 and my heartfelt thanks for all those who helped make the LIV strong by standing with us to fight for justice for all. May you all have a wonderful 2015.

 
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Comments

Comments

Disclaimer: Views expressed by commentators are not necessarily endorsed by the Law Institute of Victoria Ltd (LIV). No responsibility is accepted by the LIV for the accuracy of information contained in the comments and the LIV expressly disclaims any liability for, with respect to or arising from any such views.

Rachelle Reeves
My dad is a lawyer and he can get pretty stressed sometimes. Luckily he really likes his job, so it makes the stress worth it. I will suggest to him to get an app to help him manage every thing. Thanks for the tips!
16/07/2015 12:00:35 AM

Chase
All of these are great tips, not for just being an amazing lawyer but for being a fun and happy human being! Great job! I agree, take a vacation every 3 months, that's what I do! Let's imagine every lawyer is as organized as this, what else should I look for that will set him/her apart from everyone else?
4/06/2015 10:59:16 PM

Stephen Wilcox
Thank you Geoff for your aspirational Presidency for 2014. I would add one more - always take a holiday every three months.
18/12/2014 4:28:32 PM

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