Twelve Tips to Help You Avoid Disciplinary Proceedings

No lawyer sets out to become a disciplinary statistic.  Some lawyers, however, find themselves corresponding more often with disciplinary authorities than others. Solo and small firm practitioners, especially with practices in criminal, family or personal injury law, receive the highest number of client complaint letters. During the many years of representing lawyers in disciplinary proceedings, I found that many disciplinary complaints could have been avoided if the lawyers had implemented strong practice management habits early in their careers or followed a common sense approach to practicing law. With today’s economic challenges, many recently licensed, as well as experienced lawyers, have been forced to re-evaluate their career paths, and are going solo or practicing in small firm settings. The training received in law school, however, may not have sufficiently prepared lawyers, particularly young lawyers, for the ethical and related business challenges encountered in a solo or small firm practice. This leaves young lawyers in these practice environments more vulnerable to disciplinary complaints. Although rewarding, having your own law practice can expose you to certain hazards.  To reduce the risk of facing disciplinary proceedings, implement these twelve tips (not listed in order of importance).

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