Take the Lead
One of the most disappointing parts of lawmakers' efforts to resolve their self-imposed tax and spending crisis was the seeming lack of willingness from anyone on either side to step up and take on a leadership role to strike a larger "grand bargain" to resolve the country's more serious spending and deficit issues. Indeed, the entire point of setting up the fiscal cliff was to impose deadlines and discipline to force the decision-makers to the bargaining table on these important points. Instead, there ended up being half of a deal on taxes and more procrastination on the serious debt issues that the country will now have to confront in 2013.
Perhaps you've seen this happen on your own cases that just won't move along, staffed below a lackadaisical partner or senior associate or a client that just will not respond to calls or emails. Sometimes there is strategy in allowing nothing to happen, but there are other times when a client or case is crying out for needed attention. Step up and affirmatively take on the issues that need to be dealt with. Assess the various states of pleadings, correspondence and document review and plan and execute what needs to be done. Taking the lead on the case allows you to control its pace and, potentially, its outcome. As an added bonus, showing leadership and initiative can only impress those internal and external clients that have been too busy or unconcerned with its direction. If you feel you are pushing the boundaries of your responsibility, you are probably on the right track.
Although the fiscal cliff negotiations were frustrating and the ultimate resolution may have been unsatisfying, we hope that we and Congress can learn from these lessons and resolve to do better in 2013.
YL Editorial Board
Peter C. Buckley, Chairman
Leigh Ann Buziak
The Editorial Board of Young Lawyer is composed of members of the legal profession. They serve voluntarily and are independent of Young Lawyer. Through their ongoing exchange of views, members of the board attempt to develop consensus on issues of importance to the bench, bar and public. Members of the legal community are invited to contribute signed op-ed pieces.