Life Advice: 5 Sage Pieces of Advice for the General Public from Practicing Lawyers
We tend to turn to legal professionals only when we directly need their services. However, these experts have a broad understanding of the law and deep knowledge in specific fields, making them a wealth of valuable information that can improve your life.
You probably don’t want to pay a lawyer’s hourly rate to get general life advice, and luckily, you don’t have to. We gathered advice from Albury solicitors, New York attorneys, and legal professionals all over the world and distilled their most valuable ideas into the five core tips below.
1. Read before you sign anything
From employment contracts to terms of service, you should never sign a document you haven’t thoroughly read and understood. Of course, many contracts are so long and laborious that it’s easy to dismiss this advice and hope for the best. However, you could be getting yourself into all sorts of trouble down the line. If you don’t have the patience to struggle through endless pages of legal jargon, hire a lawyer to go over the contract for you. If it’s the T&Cs for a product, service, or subscription, consider using a free AI tool to summarize the document, explain it to you like you’re five, and point out any clauses that could be problematic.
2. Be clear in your expectations
Whether it’s with your life partner, business partner, or anyone else for that matter, always be clear about your expectations. Many employment disputes and lawsuits arise from miscommunications, false promises, and unmet expectations. Clarity and openness can help you avoid legal issues, and these qualities will serve you well in every other aspect of your life.
3. Treat everyone you meet with respect
Whether it’s someone asking you for money on the street, a police officer, a customer service attendant, or your fellow patrons in a restaurant, it’s important to show respect to those you encounter. You may not agree with someone’s lifestyle or choice of profession. You may think you’re within your rights to be rude, loud, and obnoxious. However, if you let these ideas dictate your behavior, you’ll be in for a lifetime of conflicts, large and small.
By contrast, respect can serve you well in all areas of your life, helping you avoid conflict and enjoy more productive interactions with the people you meet.
4. Keep good records
From your taxes to your property lines and everything in between, it will serve you well to have clear records. Digitize as much as possible to save on space, and ensure everything is filed in a logical way. In the workplace, keep records of important meetings, and if anything important is discussed verbally, send a follow-up email confirming whatever was agreed on.
When you’re diligent with record-keeping, you can nip potential disputes in the bud and protect your rights, your property, and your reputation.
5. Keep your mouth shut until your lawyer is present
Regardless of whether you’re guilty or innocent, if you’re ever called in for questioning, it’s crucial to invoke your right to legal counsel. Wrongful convictions can and do happen, and the defense lawyers we spoke to explained that some of their cases would never have even gotten to court if their client had kept quiet and insisted on having a lawyer present.
Keep these sage pieces of wisdom in mind as you navigate the complexities of modern life, and you should be able to avoid unnecessary conflicts and make the most of the opportunities that come your way.