Tips They Don’t Teach You in Law School (Including One From John Branca UCLA)

If you’re in law school, considering law school, or need to give some legal advice, you’ll soon realize school doesn’t prepare you for everything. Successful entertainment lawyers like John Branca certainly know that. There are some things only life experience can prepare you for, and when you can’t get it firsthand, you can count on those who have gone before you to help you out. Here are a few tips you may not learn in law school.

Your Client May Not Know What They Want

As a lawyer, you are always trying to best serve and defend your clients’ needs. Unfortunately, they may not always know exactly what they want when faced with a difficult legal situation. This funny example, illustrated by an important meeting with the Beach Boys, shows how you may need to be prepared to advise your client on their next move, or at least be ready to brainstorm.


Creativity Is Important

Many people would not consider practicing law and creativity synonymous, but the example above illustrates the need to think on your feet. Tackling legal issues from different angles can be essential to your success, and while it can be tempting to focus on efficiency, imagination can often be even more critical. Look for ways to nurture your creative thinking, and your law practice will be significantly enhanced.

Be Ready for Ambiguity

The law is not black and white, and often you will be left without an unmistakable direction or answer. This is usually where the above tip of creativity comes into play. In many cases, you must be ready to be flexible and think on your feet to find a path forward. School often puts you in a mode of looking to an authority for answers, but once you begin practicing, that is not always available to you. Make sure you are prepared to handle the gray areas when you start practicing.

Law school is a challenging process, and it can be easy to think of graduation as the finish line. As you move into the workforce, however, it becomes apparent that it was only the beginning. Law is a living practice, and you continue learning every day you’re on the job. A strong work ethic, a focus on creativity, and a willingness to work with uncertainty are of the utmost importance. Focusing on some of the tips above can help you improve your practice and serve your clients to the best of your ability.