After working in the legal industry for almost 10 years, I found Sodoma Law. This has been the perfect place to continue my personal and professional growth. I knew that the tenacious and fearless leaders and I were the perfect match, from the moment I stepped foot in the door. Working with a wonderful group of people, my “Sodoma family," is what I believe makes the firm successful. I strive to help our clients and work hard on their behalf every day.

Ana J. Covarrubias
Client Account Manager

I can be my best, professionally and personally, at Sodoma Law. I have had the opportunity to grow a great deal practicing with colleagues who inspire me to learn more and be more fearless in my practice. And, I have become a spouse and mother my family can be proud of by being successful in my career without sacrificing freedom and flexibility, which allows me to spend quality time with my family and be present at all the special moments that come along with raising a family.

Penelope L. Hefner
Principal and Attorney

The culture of Sodoma Law promotes professional and personal development for those fortunate to work here, and it's that balance that makes the Firm unique and special.  We all strive to be the best attorneys we can be in our chosen field, but we also have the support and encouragement to develop ourselves as people.  The Sodoma Way is more than just the practice of law, it's the practice of life.

David T. DuFault

5 Pieces of Advice for New Attorneys

Congratulations! You finished the Bar exam! Whether you’ve already found a job, or you’re still searching for the perfect opportunity, an exciting new adventure awaits you. This time of year, lawyers across the country think back about what it was like when they were in your shoes – the excitement, the fears, and what they wish they’d known then, compared to what they know now. The experienced attorneys at Sodoma Law recently spent time together reflecting on and sharing stories about the beginning of their careers as brand new attorneys. While doing so, they put their heads together to come up with their top 5 pieces of advice they wish they’d received as a new attorney.

#1 Don’t take it personally.

When a client comes to you, they are more than likely going through an extremely difficult time. Confusion, uncertainty, and fear – especially about the legal process – are common feelings. And, keep in mind, the outcome of whatever situation you are helping them through is going to have a real effect on their future. Not knowing what lies ahead can oftentimes be the scariest part!

Try to maintain some boundaries between your work and your personal life, and even when tension and emotions get the best of someone, remember that you should not take it personally.

Don't take it personally. The first of five steps.
Enemy today, friend tomorrow. The second of five steps.

#2 The attorney you see as your enemy today, may need to be your friend tomorrow.

Although it is your job to fight for your client – whether in the courtroom or from the comfort of your office – that doesn’t mean you have to go toe-to-toe with every attorney who crosses your path. Even when you are on opposite sides of a case, maintaining a cordial working relationship with your adversary is critical, especially when the need arises (and it will arise) for you to ask them for professional courtesy.

A little kindness and respect can go a long way.

#3 Know Your Audience.

As an attorney, you will wear many hats – educator, advocate, courtroom gladiator, and sometimes even a shoulder to cry on. The hat you wear will determine many things, such as your approach and demeanor, and it’s always important to know your audience. Knowing your audience will be key to your success not only with your clients but also with your coworkers, the courts, or opposing counsel.

By knowing your audience, you can respond and deliver information in a way that’s well-received.

Know your Audience, the third of five steps.
Be prepared, but don't be afraid to ask questions. The fourth of five steps.

#4 Be prepared, but don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Take the time to observe the attorneys and support staff around you. Learn the processes and procedures of your office. Read local rules and statutes so you can ask informed and educated questions. Read pleadings start to finish, and make sure you know the relevant facts and issues, before you ever discuss a case with your supervising attorney, client, or opposing counsel.

Be resourceful. Take the steps to educate and inform yourself first, but don’t be afraid to ask questions and take advantage of learning from those around you too.

#5 Define your Win.

What your client defines as a win might not be what you define as a win. Your expectations are based on your knowledge of the law and procedures of court, but that may not always match your client’s expectations. Just because you didn’t achieve exactly what the client wanted does not mean you lost. Every client and every case is different, and that means every win will be different, too.  While a win can look different from case to case, you can still focus on the factors that should be consistent throughout such as fairness and quality representation.

A win looks different for everyone, and fairness is subjective.

Define your win, the final step.
Working as an attorney is both challenging and rewarding. Every day is a new opportunity, and every day you will learn something new that will help you grow into the lawyer you strive to be. With these helpful tips, you’ll be on your way in no time!

More advice for new attorneys available on Forbes Legal Council.


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