January-Report - page 18

January 2013 CBA REPORT
Young Lawyers Section
The CBA Young Lawyers Section is open to all attorneys age 36 or younger or in his or her first five years of practice
regardless of age. For more information on getting involved in the many professional, social and community service
activities of the YLS, contact Kathy Grant at (513) 699-4016 or
Make a Great Start in the New Year
By Stacy A. Cole
Welcome to YLS
Jeffrey W. DeBeer
McGuire A. Griffin
Jessica Marie Grogan
Dawn R. Landers
Stephanie N. O’Banion
Brian Pokrywka
Amber M. Reams
Ann M. Seller
Maxwell Smith
Joshua O. Stevens
Sarah Nicole Theodore
Joshua Andrew Thompson
Adam J. Turer
John B. Wasserman
You are cordially invited to join the Young Lawyers Section for its annual
New Year
With the new year rolling in, it’s a
great time to step back, reflect on where
you are professionally, and think about
what you can do to take it to the next
level. You might be making New Year’s
resolutions to work out more, watch less
TV or call your parents more often. But
what about resolving to make yourself
even more valuable at work?
Each year at Graydon, we set goals —
some are big (like trying two cases) and
some don’t seem as major (like keeping
better task lists). Sometimes it’s the small
goals or resolutions that can make the
most long-term impact for your career.
There are a couple of things I’ve
learned in the last few years that have
helped make me a better lawyer and a
better worker. I’m a work in progress, but
I don’t want to stop growing. Here are a
couple of tips I’ve picked up and that I’ve
seen provide real value, no matter what
your career path.
Take ownership
. I would write this
one over and over again if I had the
space. This simple idea genuinely sets
apart the best from the mediocre. If
you get a research project and know the
argument the assigning attorney needs
to make, don’t just come back with the
holding — especially if the answer isn’t a
great one. Help the attorney to craft the
argument, find a workaround, and be a
part of the solution instead of just identi-
fying that the answer is “no.”
Ask the right questions
. For the most
part, no question is a dumb question
unless it’s something that you could eas-
ily look up. When you ask the assigning
attorney how long you have to reply to a
counterclaim, you should be asking it be-
cause the internet has crashed and every
copy of the paper rules has vanished. But
even then, there’s probably somewhere
you could have checked. Exhaust your
available resources before punting. Then
the questions you do have will show how
thoughtful and smart you are.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
For those of us who are deadline and
pressure driven, this
can be challeng-
ing. I perform best
under pressure, but
that doesn’t work
when I have clients and other attorneys
who need to review a draft or there’s an
unforeseen issue. One thing that I’m
doing this year is striving to beat even
internal deadlines by several days. The
assigning attorney wants it Wednesday?
Get it to her Monday. Even if it sits on her
desk until Wednesday, you’ve instilled
confidence. She doesn’t have to wonder
where the draft is or how she’s going to
track you down to get it.
There are hundreds, maybe thou-
sands, of ways each of us can improve
our practice. Pick a few and resolve to
work on them every day. Before the next
new year, I bet they’ll be old hat. And I
bet that adding that extra polish in just a
few key ways will get you noticed.
Cole is the 2012-2013 chair of YLS.
Start the New Year off with YLS members
and friends. Committee members will be
there with ideas for you to get more
involved with YLS.
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013
5-7 p.m.
Scene Ultra Lounge
637 Walnut St.
Downtown Cincinnati
Please register by Jan. 3 at
Questions? Contact Kathy Grant at
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