You’re competent in the area of law you practice. Of course you are! But have you ever had some unusual circumstance occur in the middle of a perfectly “normal” case where, all of the sudden, you need to take some type of action or make a very quick decision? You have never dealt with this particular issue before, and it is likely you never will again. You immediately research this issue, but there is nothing on point and really no direction at all. You are under pressure, and you need help. This is not the time for your pride to get in the way. You have to take care of your client. Call that colleague you know can shed some light on this issue. Competence doesn’t mean you know everything. A very wise attorney recently told me, “Being a good lawyer means knowing when you use your resources.” There are always resources. Someone always knows someone who can give you direction. If you cannot think of who to call first, start with your professional liability provider. Most providers will provide this type of support. And if a colleague contacts you and needs a little guidance, make some time to respond. If you cannot help, you may know someone who can, and in turn become a resource yourself.
Crystal Carlisle is a NC licensed attorney and owner in The Brocker Law Firm, P.A. She represents attorneys in licensing and disciplinary matters including representation of bar candidates before the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners. View complete profile