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Lawyers Like Learning; Good Mentors Like Teaching

October 12, 2018
The Daily Report

In an article published by the Daily Report on October 12, Scot Kirkpatrick, who has mentored dozens of young lawyers over the years, shares his insights for mentoring success.

One of the first rules of practice development is that, “you have to bring the younger people along,” says Kirkpatrick. “An essential part of growing a practice is mentoring.”

He shares that new lawyers can take five years to really get their feet wet, and he expects them to study hard and ask questions. In return, Kirkpatrick puts in the time to tutor the new lawyers in the finer aspects of tax, partnerships, trusts and state corporate codes.

Additionally, Kirkpatrick is a firm believer in having young lawyers tag along when he visits clients, as well as the CPAs and financial advisers who are a source of referrals. This is mainly an exercise in “watch and listen,” and it is enormously helpful in learning how to talk to clients. “My partner, Tom Jones, says legal marketing boils down to convincing a potential client who has a problem that you are the one who can solve it for them,” shares Kirkpatrick. Client meetings are where those skills are learned.

Finally, Kirkpatrick stresses that it is important to remember that the law remains an apprenticeship system. “People who go to law school usually like to learn. I think it’s important for all of us—senior lawyers and younger lawyers—to embrace this culture of learning.” For the full article, subscribers to the Daily Report may click here.