Lawyer Francisco Ramos Jr. is Working for Tips
Ramos' blog is called
Francisco Ramos Jr., 39
Title: Administrative partner, Clark Silverglate, Miami
Specialties: Mediation, class action, commercial litigation, employment law, medical malpractice, product liability
Blog: "Tips for Young Lawyers," tipsforyounglawyers.wordpress.com
Other writings: Editor, "The Defense Speaks, Florida Defense Lawyers Association Defense Manual" and "Trial Tactics Defense Litigation Manual"; author, "From Law School to Litigator"; interested in writing fiction, particularly "legal science fiction"
"There was a little more time for senior attorneys to spend with younger attorneys, and I find that's less the case now," Ramos says. "There are more lawyers chasing fewer clients, and there's more of a focus on the bottom line, so things that don't translate directly to money — i.e. trying to mentor somebody — kind of go by the wayside. I think most young lawyers are looking for a mentor and, unfortunately, a lot of them don't have one."
Now, they have Ramos.
The Miami attorney created a blog this year called "Tips for Young Lawyers." He posts daily essays targeting "young lawyers who are doing their best each day to confront and overcome the obstacles the practice puts in their way."
His topics include both professional and life advice. Ramos says young lawyers want basic advice, such as learning how to get a witness to be more agreeable during a deposition. They're also concerned about balancing a demanding work schedule with a personal life, something that many older attorneys either didn't worry about or, amid 80-hour workweeks, didn't consider a realistic goal.
"Traditionally, in the '70s, '80s and into '90s, lawyers just went to work," Ramos says. "They worked late, they worked weekends, and often it was very taxing on their families. It wasn't uncommon for folks to end up in divorce or be on a second or third marriage before they made partner. Young lawyers are less willing to make those sacrifices."
Within four months of the first posting, the blog had 200 subscribers and more than 35,000 visitors. Here are some posts:
» ?"There is an old adage that you never ask a witness at trial a question you don't already know the answer to. One of the reasons you take a deposition is to find out the answers to all the questions you intend to ask in trial."
» ?"Get in the habit of arriving to work 15 minutes earlier than you usually do and take that time to review your calendar for the next 30 days and review your case list."
» ?"The attorney who was disbarred for misappropriating client funds started years ago by fudging on the little things. Don't start down that path."
» ?"As a young lawyer, get in the habit of reading depositions by other attorneys in your office from other cases of diverse witnesses. If you want to learn how to take a deposition, read how others take theirs."
» ?"Pro bono cases are the ones where you make the most difference. They are the ones you remember, tell stories about and that define you."