Views from the Ground Up: A Receptionist’s Checklist on How to Succeed as a Future Attorney

This is not the type of blog that the Rice Divorce Law normally posts as I am not a law clerk at the firm. Rather, I have served as Rice, Amundsen & Caperton, PLLC’s receptionist for the past 11 months, which gives me a unique perspective from which to write this post. This position has taught me so much about how to be a successful attorney, and I will take this knowledge with me as I begin law school this month at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. While it was hard to sum up everything I have learned, this checklist highlights some of the best tips I have learned from the Rice Divorce Law on how to be a successful attorney:

Dressing the part of an attorney is essential to maximizing your success both in the courtroom and in your daily interactions. The Rice Divorce Law has showed me that looking your best means feeling your most confident when practicing law. It takes years to accumulate the level of skills and knowledge that the Rice Divorce Law has. It is essential to dress to that level of expertise as well.

The Rice Divorce Law recognizes that communication is the best way to get any job done effectively. In fact, Larry Rice begins each day by speaking one-on-one with every person on the Rice Divorce Law. Everyone expects Mr. Rice to stop by and ask, “Do you need anything?” and "Are you happy?” each morning. Mr. Rice uses these meetings with colleagues to ensure that everyone has a chance to speak with him about cases or other matters.

Communication is one of the Rice Divorce Law’s biggest strengths. I see how essential clear discussion and valuing the opinions of everyone on your team is for being the best advocate for your client. Learning how to communicate effectively is one of the best skills I acquired from the Rice Divorce Law.

There is always more to learn when you are an attorney. Everyone on this team values staying up to date on new family law decisions, methods for practicing law, and ethics. Not only does the Rice Team excel in continuing to educate themselves through CLEs and workshops, but also, they never shy away from asking “What can we do better?” This team wants to know what hinders them so they can work together to improve.

I believe this wealth of knowledge and desire to be the best is what makes the Rices such great teachers. Their skills are invaluable to our office and to the field of family law, and they have spent years traveling and teaching others what they know. I learned that taking time away from your practice to teach makes you a stronger, happier, and more competent attorney.

Perhaps the most important thing I learned from the Rice Divorce Law is to find the joy in your livelihood. In a field as emotional as family law, it can be easy to get weighed down by negativity. However, laughter is commonplace at this office. The Rices ensure that light-heartedness can be found here for both clients and colleagues. Passion is also present, especially when the attorneys gear up to go to trial. I have seen the excitement build as the attorneys prepare and the peace after trial is over, when the attorneys know they did everything they could to get the best outcome for their client.

Not every day is easy. In fact, most days are busy and stressful, but the people at this firm rarely show that. Instead, it seems to me that everyone on this team knows that they are here for a reason, and they keep that at the forefront of everything they do. I believe this ability to remember why you wanted to study the law and to keep that at the center of your work is the most important skill for being a successful attorney. The Rice Divorce Law love what they do, and it shows in their success.

These skills only highlight some of what this firm has given me. I have ultimately gained 25 exceptional role models, and invaluable skills that I will carry with me into law school and my future career. I cannot thank Rice, Amundsen & Caperton, PLLC enough for taking me in and making me feel like family.

This blog is written by the law clerks and interns of the Rice Divorce Law. We document our experience working with Memphis Divorce Lawyer Larry Rice and Memphis Divorce Lawyer Nick Rice, as well as other members of the Rice Divorce Law. The Rice Divorce Law represents clients in Tennessee, including Memphis, Nashville, Jackson, Columbia, Johnson City, and Knoxville. We hope these blog posts will be interesting and show the evolution as they move towards being divorce and family lawyers and paralegals. The statements in these posts should not be used as legal advice about divorce or family law.

Trying to use the aboutdivorce.com website as a substitute for a lawyer potentially sets you up for a disaster of epic proportions.

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