#NLL: Never quote the law off the top of your head


September 29, 2013 by williamsjustliving

That ought to go without saying.

You took the class in law school and you more or less listened to your professor and you took a break from surfing StumbleUpon ever so often during your classmates’ questions to gather the general trajectory of the conversation and you took the 3 hour exam and you totally made a decent grade. Ergo, you obviously know this area of law.


Well, perhaps you DO know the area of law. I’m not saying that you don’t.

But, do you know the law well enough to listen to someone’s potentially heart-wrenching story and, whilst you sit before them, drill down to the heart of the legal issue AND correctly remember the law that you need to quote as well as any recent legislative updates to the law?

Perhaps YOU do. But, me? Not so much. And (to cut straight to the chase), I quoted the correct law in an incorrect way. When I discovered my mistake, I had to call my client and explain the difference between what I said and what I should have said.

New lawyer lesson: always take at least a few minutes to go look up a law.


One thought on “#NLL: Never quote the law off the top of your head

  1. Lena Brooks says:

    Great tip. Happens a lot in law enforcement as well.

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