Sound judgment and decision making, the ability to consider the relative costs and benefits of potential actions and then choosing the best option, is a crucial skill for attorneys. After all, attorneys make hundreds of decisions in the process of advising a client, executing a transaction, or litigating a case.
Law students who struggle with decision-making would do well to evaluate their motivation for becoming a lawyer – this is not to say that they are following the wrong path; rather, they need to consider their path. If is where “it’s at” for them, then it’s time to develop and mature their ability to consistently and confidently make sound decisions.
Consider these “pillars” of decision making.
Define the decision to be made>
What are the parameters you are working within?
Who will be affected by – has a stake in – the final decision?
What are the goals you are working toward?
Gather all the pertinent information
Collect numbers, data, and feedback
Get everything that is necessary, but only what is necessary, on the table
List the various potential solutions
What actions does each option require?
How well does each option align with your values, priorities, and end goals?
What are the risks, costs, timing, and benefits for each option?
Map your various solutions
Where will be the immediate response/result of each solution?
What will be the response/results six months, one year, five years from now?
Rate each option and narrow the choice.
At this point, begin to pay closer attention to your instinct or gut feeling. It’s important, of course, to gather, evaluate, and decipher all of the above information in an organized and logical fashion, but once you accomplished that, it’s important to pay attention to your feelings and emotions.
Finally – make your decision with confidence.
Communicate your decision to appropriate parties.
Implement the decision.
Be willing to go back and review your decision and evaluate the results. If you need to update or restructure and have the option to do so, go for it, but skip the second-guessing and negative self-denouncing. Part of great decision – making skills is being able to acknowledge a less that fruitful decision, learn from it, and move forward.
There are many career options available for law students. Regardless of which one they chose, building strong decision-making skills is essential to career fulfillment and success.
LawFit understands the importance of one of the most crucial decisions a law student makes – which direction to take their career. That is the purpose of our assessment package – helping law students to evaluate their interests, bents, personalities, etc. and then make a sound decision on which path to run. Contact us today – it’s never too late.