Lawyering Is More Than Just Passing The Bar

Your Attorney’s Competence:

Lawyering is More Than Just Passing the Bar

As a client, it is no secret what standard of care an attorney owes to you. An attorney is recognized as having legal knowledge and skill superior to that of an ordinary person.  As a result, an attorney is held to a more demanding standard of care. An attorney should exercise the skill and knowledge ordinarily possessed by attorneys under similar circumstances.


Let’s take a look at an attorney’s requirements for competence to better understand this whole concept.


What Makes Up A Lawyer’s Competence?

A lawyer is required to provide competent representation through their legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.


Legal Knowledge and Skill

Here are some important considerations when determining legal knowledge and skill:

Is the case relatively complex and specialized in nature?
Is the lawyer generally experienced in the field your case demands?
Is additional preparation or study needed to accomplish your needs?
• Should your lawyer be consulting with a lawyer of established competence or flat out referring you to one?


Thoroughness and Preparation

Major litigation and complex transactions generally require more in-depth attention and preparation. Attention and adequate preparation often depend on what is at stake in a matter. Thoroughness and preparation are more easily understood in terms of reasonableness. You have to look at how an ordinary attorney under the same circumstances would conduct themselves.


Whaley Law Firm has experience working with clients whose former attorneys failed to provide appropriate legal representation and suffered harm as a result. That harm can come in many forms.  Whaley Law Firm can help you assess the strength of your case and the appropriate next step.


Additional Sources:


Ronald E. Mallen & Jeffrey M. Smith, Legal Malpractice §19 (1st ed. 2006).