A Facebook friend mentioned a recent conversation with a photographer who told him, “You need to practice your craft! Ask any serious musician, actor, actress, vocalist, writer, painter, etc., how often they practice and they will tell you. So often I talk to photographers and ask them the same question and they get a blank look on their face and say, “Practice”?
What about lawyers? Are we not serious professionals? Are we not creative?
We practice law but how many of us practice the practice of law?
Most trial lawyers practice their closing arguments. But how many practice interviewing a hostile witness? How many practice writing a more persuasive brief or settlement package?
Lawyers want more clients but how many practice meeting new people at a networking event? How many practice what they will say to a prospective client who comes in for a consultation?
I’ll admit, in my law practice, I did very little practicing. Over time, I got better at writing and speaking not because I made a conscious effort to do so, not by practicing but by speaking and writing for real clients in real cases. How much better might I have been had I worked on this between clients?
An actor rehearses before he goes on stage. He works on his craft when nobody is watching or in a workshop among his peers. He practices and practices so that he can deliver the best performance. Musicians do the same.
Writers churns out millions of words that are never seen, honing their craft, improving their work product. Painters do studies, dancers rehearse steps, singers do scales.
In law school and in bar review courses we took practice exams, getting ready for the real exam, the one that counts. Why do we stop practicing once we get licensed to practice?
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