As difficult to understand as the ABA Model Rules can sometimes be, I found some unexpected comfort in Comment 2 of Rule 1.1. I often wonder what I will do in my future legal practice
if when I encounter a legal issue that I know nothing about. This is a good starting place:
A lawyer need not necessarily have special training or prior experience to handle legal problems of a type with which the lawyer is unfamiliar. A newly admitted lawyer can be as competent as a practitioner with long experience. Some important legal skills, such as the analysis of precedent, the evaluation of evidence and legal drafting, are required in all legal problems. Perhaps the most fundamental legal skill consists of determining what kind of legal problems a situation may involve, a skill that necessarily transcends any particular specialized knowledge. A lawyer can provide adequate representation in a wholly novel field through necessary study. Competent representation can also be provided through the association of a lawyer of established competence in the field in question.
Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.1 Competence (Comment 2).