Apparently there are no stupid questions. That’s a relief because I ask a lot of questions. Seriously… lots… I’m like that person who sat in the front row of your torts seminar – the one who could automatically elicit a collective groan from the rest of the class simply by raising a hand. Ok, I would never be that bad, but you get my point.
Anyway, I have learned an important rule about questions: Choose Your Battles Wisely. Questions are a double edged sword: You can courageously defend your intellectual honour, but with a few careless moves you won’t have a leg to stand on.
Not all questions need to be addressed to a busy partner when a friendly first-year associate can help. Not all questions need to be asked right away. It follows that not all questions must be answered right away (it probably isn’t best to loiter around a lawyer’s office 5 minutes after sending a lengthy issue-spotting email… not that I have done that… today).
When I began working here a few months ago, I was pretty trigger happy with the questions and the askings and the askings of the questions. At the first sign of an issue, I would be dialing a lawyer’s extension, even though I had not even articulated the question yet. Trust me, this is embarrassing.
I have since learned the importance of patient consideration. Write down the question. Think about it. Think about it some more. Why do I want to know this? Who can I ask? Does it need to be answered ASAP? And so on and so on. Basically, I try to wait at least 30 minutes from the time I have a question before I do anything about it. Usually, if I keep reading, working, reviewing, etc, it will answer itself.
Patience, yeah, patience.
Said Question, take it slow
Things will be just fine
You and I just need a little patience…