Maintaining your ability to practice law means that you have to abide by legal and ethical rules. There are many ways in which you could step over the line and blatantly violate those rules. However, more often what happens in the case of legal malpractice is something happens accidentally or without intent.
Mistakes in your legal practice can be damaging, according to the American Bar Association. This is why you need to become aware of common missteps and be proactive in avoiding them.
Mistakes by staff
It is essential that you stay on top of your staff’s work. You cannot shift the blame for a missed deadline to a staff member. Making sure your staff does its job properly will help to protect you in the long run. It is important that you handle any issues upfront to avoid possible trouble down the road.
Lack of communication
You must communicate with your clients regularly and often when you are actively working their case. Going long periods without any communication can leave a client feeling unsure and even make them less confident in your work. Even if you only will contact them to say nothing is happening, it can be comforting.
Cases outside your area
It is often tempting to assist clients, especially long-time clients, with legal issues that fall outside of your practice area. While you may have the basic skills to give them some advice, it is tricky to put together a competent case in an area of law in which you have little to no practice. It is much better to refer your client out to another attorney that practices in that area.