Attorney Tips: How to Own Your Mistakes as a New Hire

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attorney new hire mistakesMaking mistakes as a new hire can be nerve-wracking but inevitable. It’s all about how you handle them when they happen. Here are a few simple tips on how to own your mistakes and to recover gracefully.

  1. Own Up to It. Mistakes that go uncorrected or unacknowledged will make you look as if you were trying to hide them or avoid responsibility. As soon as you realize you’ve made a mistake that will impact the case, the firm, or fellow attorneys, make the appropriate people aware of the error.
  2. No Scapegoats. Even if there was some outside reason why you made the mistake, don’t focus on it. Simply own up to the fact that you made an error and take responsibility for not catching it. Any attempt to shift blame will only annoy your superiors or cause them to lose respect for you.
  3. Develop a solution. As soon as you realize that you’ve made a mistake, come up with a solution to the problem. If you come up empty, don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help in finding a solution. New hires tend to shy away from seeking help, but asking for help shows you value your fellow colleagues and that you know your limitations.
  4. Explain the situation. Take the time to briefly explain why you made a mistake – but take care not to shift blame for the mistake. Offering a brief and genuine explanation will let the other party know that you understand how the error happened and how to avoid making mistakes like it in the future.

As a new hire, owning your mistakes gives you the opportunity to learn from your errors and increase respect amongst your peers and with your superiors.

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