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Business Law Today

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I figured out quickly that I had better figure out how to become a lawyer, and quickly. So I did. But the road from law school graduate to useful member of a deal team was a bumpy one for me, as it was for many of my colleagues. In an effort to make other lawyers' transitions from law school graduate to lawyer a bit smoother, I now offer my list of 10 things lawyers wish they had known on the first day of practice. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a transactional lawyer by training, and now teach business law and skills classes, so much of the list is geared toward transactional lawyers. That said, easy conversions exist, I suspect, to modify the list as needed for my litigating brethren.

In the spirit of still more full disclosure, I note that many of the topics lend themselves equally to my other project--parenting (and by that I mean refereeing the various combinations and permutations of disputes between and among my three kids). I will leave the philosophical question of why this significant overlap between lawyering and parenting exists to others to explore--perhaps we really did learn all we needed to know to be good lawyers in elementary school, but have since forgotten it all.

So here goes--the top 10 things law graduates need to figure out before becoming a useful transactional lawyer.