Well, you might. That’s a risk for even experienced attorneys, but yes, new attorneys are more prone to it so make sure you have good legal malpractice insurance before you serve your first client.
One thing that can help you get over your fear of committing malpractice is by reviewing other attorneys’ work and seeing how many holes you can find in what they are doing. We don’t mean to say you should pick at other people’s work or that you should crusade against every attorney who’s done a less than adequate job, but instead that you will find comfort in knowing everyone (even very experienced attorneys) make mistakes.
One of my senior colleagues told me that he has people come back into his office for reviews of their estate plan every three to five years in part to catch his own mistakes or errors in planning judgment.
You have to do your best by finding out what you don’t know; researching appropriately; getting co-counsel to review your plans for the first few clients and having a great law business mentor you can turn to for guidance along the way.
Remember, the Rules of Professional Conduct don’t require you to be an expert before you begin seeing clients. It requires you to do your research and get help when you need it. It also requires that when you become aware of an issue, that you take responsibility and do what is necessary to fix it. And you may have to do that a few times as you begin. Be gentle with yourself. Even very experienced attorneys make mistakes. They fix them, learn something new, and move on.