Preparing for Private Practice: Tips for a Successful Career

Photograph: Whitney Casement Photograph: Clint Patty Photograph: Tim Schultz
Whitney Casement, '12 Clint Patty, '98 Timothy Shultz, '93

The Washburn University School of Law Professional Development Office and the Business and Transactional Law Center welcomed Clint Patty, '98, Barbara Duncan, Timothy Shultz, '93 and Whitney Casement, '12 on September 5, 2018 to discuss balancing work and life in private practice as well as financial management. The speakers described tips and strategies to ensure an adequate balance between job life and self-care.

Shultz, of Goodell Stratton Edmonds and Palmer, LLP, stressed the importance of utilizing vacation days and taking time to do something for yourself away from the office. He also explained the expectations partners have for first-year associates in private practice. Shultz encouraged new lawyers to enter firms willing to work hard and prove their worth to the partners.

Casement, also with Goodell Stratton Edmonds and Palmer, LLP, emphasized the importance of finding a mentor in the legal community. She explained that legal mentors need not practice the same area of law and do not need to be limited to legal issues. Casement spoke on the importance of having mentors check in on your mental health and to make consistent efforts to practice self-care.

Duncan, Vice President and Senior Wealth Advisor with Clayton Wealth Partners, discussed financial tips many new lawyers overlook. She advised early investment in retirement savings proportional to increases in earnings and the importance of accurate financial estimates of future tax liabilities.

Patty, Executive Vice President and General Counsel with Clayton Wealth Partners, described the difficulties of combating past financial mistakes, especially regarding missteps with tax-related issues. He advised students to think about their value to a firm as a new attorneys and make sure that they to do the math and cover the expense of their salary.

Washburn Law thanks all the guest speakers for taking time from their busy schedules to speak with students about real-world concerns for attorneys as they begin legal practice.