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Written Report The right to demand payment for the

Chapter II Lawyer on Maiden Practice lawyers services should be founded on

Legal Counselling for Practicing Lawyers the fact of employment although a
contract of employment between a
Prepared by: lawyer and a client may be written or
Genzola, Neil Marvin and
verbal. The terms of a contingent fee
Macalino, Daniel Luis
contract should be fully implemented
Arellano University School of Law
provided that such contract is not tainted
About the Chapter: with fraud, undue influence, mistake or
suppression of facts on the part of the
Chapter II talks about the life of a new lawyer. A lawyer and the suit ended favorable to
lawyer entering in to the profession will need to decide the client.
what career path he should pursue. He could take on In Small vs. Banares (516 SCRA 323),
private practice, government service, or corporate the Court upheld the suspension of a
practice among other options. A lawyer eventually will lawyer from practice for 2 years and the
have to deal with a client. This chapter provides how a return of money advanced when the
new lawyer should conduct himself in order to said lawyer did not fulfil the contract
establish good relationship with his clients thus between him and client even after
building a name for himself as a reliable lawyer worth receiving money. In doing so, the Court
of his salt. held that the respondent lawyer failed to
render legal service to his client and
Pointers for a lawyer on maiden practice: violated Canon 16, 18 and 19.
Here are some notes that a new lawyer should Every delay in the outcome of the case
consider as he begins his practice of law: should be explained to the client after
the close of each day of hearing.
I. Possible areas of practice: A lawyer should always be ready and
A. Solo private practice available for his client.
B. Assistant or associate in a private law While there can be no substitute for
firm winning a case, good human relations
C. Legal officer in a corporate law with the client can benefit the lawyer
department even if he encounters setbacks. It is
D. Government employment important that a lawyer treats a client
with cordiality and compassion, with
II. In setting up an ideal law office: sincerity and honest intentions, and with
A law office must be readily accessible, a spirit of not giving up.
readily identified, presentable with neat In order to hold a client, a lawyer must:
and orderly appearance, well-lit, give sound advice, draft valid
spacious enough and with adequate documents, and adopt correct theories.
ventilation, cleaned regularly, has The lawyer is expected to employ
washroom facilities nearby, provides prompt and thorough communication
adequate reading materials in the with his client, promptly handle his
waiting room, and has parking facilities clients work; he must be honest,
close to the office. courteous and sympathetic in dealing
A relatively ideal law office should have with his client; and competently and
a library loaded with law books, diligently handle his clients affairs.
consisting of the latest edition of A lawyer has the duty to fight for his
textbooks, codals, SCRA, Philippine clients interest and by doing so, he
reports and Official Gazettes, and other should never lose temper or descend to
law books from renowned authors. inappropriate actions.

III. When dealing with a client IV. Important notes when billing a client
The relationship must be professional. There must be a methodical but frank
Frankness and tact should be the method. The client must be impressed
climate during the first interview. There that he is not being overcharged.
must be business-like approach in fixing The client must be briefed thoroughly on
the fees. the nature of the case, the difficulty and
intricacy of the legal issues, the time and
effort to be invested, possible A lawyer should strive not to lose his
unexpected incidents during the case, clients, but to win more to expand his
expenses to be incurred should there be clientele.
an appeal including additional attorneys
fees. VII. How to develop your reputation as a Lawyer
The best and easiest place to begin
V. How to sustain a law practice developing new clients is in your own
A lawyer must keep abreast with the circle of friends and acquaintances.
recent legislations and their Surveys show that service organizations
amendments, as well as the recent are responsible for more
jurisprudence. recommendations of clients to lawyers
The Mandatory Continuing Legal than any other comparable type of
Education (MCLE) program that the group.
Supreme Court has extended Speaking to local groups is a useful
incalculable aid to the courts in an activity for giving you and wide
efficient and less erratic administration opportunity in building your practice.
of justice. Speaking brings you into face to face
It is advisable to subscribe to all local contact with large number of people,
and foreign law journals and and offers them opportunity to observe
publications. you in the performance of one of the
Membership in different law associations lawyers most common activities
and lawyers organizations is necessary talking.
for a lawyer to familiarize himself with
the recent developments. VIII. Random Criteria for Obtaining Clients
As to specialization, one should seek Reputation for capability as a lawyer
light from his own evaluation of his 26%
capabilities. Reputation for trustworthiness 23%
Once having chosen a specialization, a Personal acquaintance with lawyer
lawyer must restrict his practice therein. 20%
Referral by neighbor or friend 13%
VI. Conduct for Successful Lawyering Participation in civic, religious, and
Remember whom you are working for community activity 3%
One should never lose sight of the fact Referral by another lawyer 2%
that the real boss is the client. Lawyers political activity 1%
Make sure that from the start that your Lawyers appearance and conduct in
clients understand what you can and court 1%
cannot do for them. Other reasons 3%
Always give your clients updates to their
cases. IX. Other tips related to establishing a law
Keep at least two docketing system career
One that you can manage and one that Surveys show that partners practicing
your staff manages. together earn more than the total of their
Always be accessible to your clients. previous individual earnings.
Promptly return your phone calls An A specialist because of his experience
unreturned phone call is a mark against and special background can do a job
you. more quickly and more efficiently than a
Spend time with your staff If you staff general practitioner.
are happy, they will be cheerful and If a number of lawyers pool their
eager to help you and your clients. common resources in a partnership,
Paper the worlds Furnish your client a there will be a reduction in overhead
copy of everything. costs.
Send out evaluation sheets Have your As the number of partners increases,
clients evaluate your performance at the the number of opportunities for meeting
end of every case. clients through active participation in
Clients are the cornerstone of a civic and club activities, likewise
successful law practice. increases.