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Advice From Lawyer Lincoln

A lawyer's time and advice are his stock in trade, said one of our nation's most famous lawyers, Abraham Lincoln. But in honor of President's Day, you can have the privilege of some of Lincoln's advice at no charge, courtesy of Rhonda Abrams in this article at USA Today. From the story, here are some choice pieces of Lincoln-esque advice for lawyers:

On planning and time management:

• "Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today. Never let your correspondence fall behind. Whatever piece of business you have in hand, before stopping, do all the labor pertaining to it which can then be done."

On dealing with clients:

• "An exorbitant fee should never be claimed. As a general rule never take your whole fee in advance, nor any more than a small retainer. When fully paid beforehand, you are more than a common mortal if you can feel the same interest in the case. ... Settle the amount of fee and take a note in advance ... and you are sure to do your work faithfully and well."

• "Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time."

On the importance of quality and integrity:

• "If in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer."

Have a great Presidents' Day weekend -- we'll be back at Legal Blog Watch on Tuesday.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on February 13, 2009 at 02:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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