After a meeting, I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with a District Court Judge on Tuesday, which is something that is increasingly more difficult to do now that we do not have to physically be present in a specific county courthouse to file a document in that county.
EDMS, or the electronic data management system, has been great to allow me to operate my practice no matter where I am, no matter the time of day. I can file a pleading or document at 11:30 at night if I'd like, from the comfort of my couch, while wearing pajamas. Or at 7:15 while waiting for my kids to wake up in the morning. It works well.
However, this means that unless I have a hearing, I do not travel to the rural county courthouses. When I first started in the practice of law, my former boss brought me around every week to introduce me to people. I met judges, clerks of court, court reporters and court attendants, and importantly, colleagues. I have not chatted with many attorneys lately in the gallery of the courtroom or a hallway to find out about what they do outside of their lawyer jobs. I have not talked about how a judge's weekend went, or asked a clerk about their kids. It makes it more challenging to connect with people on more than a superficial level, and to know what to expect from the bench and opposing counsel when the day comes that you have a trial.
So if you are a new attorney in rural practice, the onus is on you to get out there and introduce yourself to people. Although I am not a new attorney, I find myself needing to get out and shake hands. To let people know that I am here. I believe it is a vital part of rural practice. Here's to networking!
A blawg about solo, general and rural practice.
Melissa S. Larson is a solo practitioner in Greenfield, Iowa. She has a general practice, and offers mediation and collaborative law services. Melissa is a mother, wife, daughter, sister, grand-daughter, cousin, niece, aunt, friend, attorney, photographer, writer, student, teacher, and wanderer. She loves Gilmore Girls and Dr. Pepper, and knows far too many song lyrics.
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." -- Henry David Thoreau
"Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry." -- Jack Kerouac
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others." -- Mohandas K. Gandhi
© 2019 Melissa S. Larson, P.C.