Learning How to Win

By Mary Clark | February 14, 2020

Attorneys have a reputation for doing anything to win a case. In some situations, that determination is a good thing. In others, it can seem like attorneys only care about the tally in the win column, instead of caring about their client’s problem.

Before I started law school, I was always worried about having that reputation. I wanted to learn how to protect people at some of their most vulnerable points in life, not be the person in the room that everyone thought was difficult or unfriendly. Working at Rice, Amundsen & Caperton, PLLC and learning from Memphis Divorce and Family Law Attorneys, Larry Rice, Nick Rice, and the rest of the Rice Law has shown me exactly how I can one day be the attorney that wins and the attorney that people feel they can connect with and rely on to solve their problems. So far, I have learned how important it is to gauge the situation to know the right path whether that may be:

  • Playing ball and cooperating with the other side. Being the tough attorney that never wants to settle is not always the right option for the client. Conflict usually can, and sometimes should, be avoided. Observing mediation has been an interesting and rewarding way to see the cooperative side of family law.
  • Stepping up as a vigorous advocate for your client. Just because cooperation and compromise are options do not mean they are the best options. As a law student, one of the most nerve-wracking things to think about is one day having to step in front of a Judge to fight for your client’s rights, especially when the client may not agree with you on the best course of action to ultimately get the result they desire. I have learned that an important part of being an attorney is making sure the client trusts you and relies on your insight to get what they want. Working with Larry Rice, Nick Rice, and the other attorneys on the Rice Law has shown me exactly what it looks like to do all of that and do it fearlessly.
  • Going to bat for your client. Every attorney wishes their client could be perfect, and always the one in the right (as a future lawyer, I hope all of mine are). However, clients are human, and their problems are almost never black and white. A lawyer’s job is to be a zealous advocate, even in those gray areas. In my time as a clerk, I’ve seen Rice Law be ready to protect their clients and stand up for them, even when the case gets rough.

As an attorney, you want to win the case. As a good attorney, you want to look at the entire situation and make decisions that put your client in the position they want and need to be in. After working with Larry, Nick and the Rice Divorce Law, I know how I can one day be the attorney that wins while also being the one clients can connect with and rely on. I know now that they are the exact same thing.

It all boils down to something Larry Rice once told me, “If you can meet, or beat, your client’s expectations, you have won your case.”

This blog is written by the law clerks and interns of Rice Law. They document their experience working with Memphis divorce lawyer Larry Rice and Memphis divorce lawyer Nick Rice, as well as other members of Rice Law. Rice Law represents clients in divorce and family law matters in Tennessee and Mississippi. We hope these blog posts will be interesting and show their evolution as they move towards being divorce and family lawyers. The statements in these posts should not be used as legal advice about divorce or family law.
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