Don’t Be One Of THOSE Attorneys

Don’t Be One Of THOSE Attorneys

Don’t be the attorney that your peers hate to work with.  Karen Thalacker reminds us all to take steps to be professional and courteous even when a case is stressful.


Are you one of THOSE attorneys?

Be honest.  When your fellow attorneys look at a pleading in a new case and your name is on it do they think, “Great!  I love working with that attorney” or do they roll their eyes and think, “This is going to be so unpleasant.”

Here are 3 suggestions for how to be an attorney who other attorneys will want to work with:

  1. Be courteous to the attorney, their staff and their client. Courtesy extends to all.
  2. Be truthful. If a delay or other issue is your fault, don’t blame the other attorney. Also avoid making disparaging comments about the other attorney to your client.  Those comments have a way of getting back to that attorney.
  3. Be competent and prepared. Lack of preparedness results in delays, drives up the cost of litigation and creates unnecessary frustration.

This career may be unavoidably stressful at times but your relationship with your colleagues should ease that stress not add to it.  Here’s the bottom line:  For your own health and career, you should want to be an attorney who other attorneys want to work with.

Authored by:

Karen Thalacker

Karen is a graduate of Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, and Drake University Law School in Des Moines, IA. She began her legal career as a prosecutor before entering private practice. For over 20 years, her practice has focused on family law and general practice. Karen is trained in Collaborative Law and also acts as a parenting coordinator for high conflict parents. Since 2009, Karen has served as a judicial magistrate in Iowa. She is also the Chief Compliance Officer and pre-law advisor at Wartburg College. Karen is the author of “The New Lawyer’s Handbook: 101 Things They Don’t Teach You in Law School” and also two knitting books for children. Her commentaries and guest opinions have appeared in the Huffington Post and the Des Moines Register. She and her husband Pete have 4 children.