As an attorney, you work hard, and it would be nice to shed your lawyer persona when you’re not at work. But for many attorneys, that’s a tall order. The act of “lawyering” can carry over into everyday life in some surprising ways.
Here are eight signs your legal training and experience may be seeping into your daily life:
1) You keep track of personal time in six-minute increments.
You’re used to tracking your billable time. So it’s not surprising that you might catch yourself watching the clock during personal phone conversations or lunch with friends. As long as you’re not billing your friends, this habit is pretty harmless.
2) You read all of the terms and conditions before agreeing to anything. Period.
Of course, this is something everyone should do, lawyer or not. However, as a lawyer, you’re among a small group of people who have actually read the terms before the latest software update.
3) You think nothing of negotiating better deals.
Lawyers often have no problem asking for – and getting – better deals on personal and household purchases. You’re trained to make a good case, so you shouldn’t feel bad about using those skills to your advantage.
4) You can talk your way out of speeding tickets.
You might be a lawyer if you are able to successfully talk your way out of getting a citation for speeding or for a broken tail light. This is especially true for criminal attorneys who know the ins and outs of traffic laws, but any trained legal professional who can make a persuasive argument may find themselves driving away with only a warning.
5) You take notes during personal phone conversations.
Do you instinctively reach for a pen and a yellow pad each time your phone rings? Do you record the date, time and notes as you would for a client file? If so, you’re not alone. Chalk it up to another ingrained habit that comes with the profession.
6) You qualify everything you say.
Are your personal conversations and correspondence riddled with qualifiers like “for the record,” “to the best of my knowledge,” “to the best of my recollection,” or “it’s my understanding that…”? Using this type of language every day is just another side effect of being an attorney.
7) Your social media posts, texts and personal emails are meticulously crafted.
Using proper spelling, sentence structure, grammar and punctuation is drilled into most attorneys in the beginning of their careers. It’s hardly surprising that attorneys tend to be meticulous about making sure personal communications, including text messages, meet the same high standards as their in-office communications.
8) You’ve never met an argument you didn’t like.
Finally, as an attorney, you may find you are always ready to argue the opposing viewpoint, just for fun. You enjoy challenging your friends and family, and simple dinner-table conversation can lead to a cross-examination. Fortunately, your companions already know this about your nature and may come prepared with their own counter-arguments in anticipation.
At Special Counsel, we understand and appreciate the skills and experience that make you who you are, whether you’re in or out of the office. To learn more about how we can help meet your career needs or legal staffing needs for your firm, contact us online or call us at 800.737.3436 today.
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