Summer is officially here and not too long ago students who walked across a stage at their university to earn their law degree, are now ready to take on their career at a large law firm.
We reached out to our ASG Legal practice area and compiled advice and recommendations on things to do to reach your goals of success as you enter the journey of your legal career.
The tips compiled are here to help guide young lawyers to develop successful business efforts and become excellent attorneys.
- Being busy is no substitute for being productive. Billable hours are important, but the most valued associates are those who not only bill, but get the job done. Be a finisher.
- Stop making excuses. You may get an occasional unfair review, or you may not get along with a particular partner, but law firms are, by and large, meritocracies. You must own up to your shortcomings, failures, and disappointments. Learn from them.
- Mentors are everything. Everyone needs a mentor. Find someone who has been in your place and has come out successful on the other side. Also, someone who is patient and generous with his or her time.
- Work on your writing skills. This will serve you well wherever your career takes you. Identify the skilled writers in your firm and emulate their writing style.
- Learn how to use your calendar. You’ll soon be busier than you can imagine and you don’t want to miss a conference call or blow a deadline.
- You have no idea how much partners value good associates. This may not be clear to you at first, but it will be after a couple of hours.
- Eight years will go by faster than you think. Study the attributes, skills, and approaches of the associates that make partner at your firm. Model yourself after them.
- Be serious, but please don’t take yourself too seriously. You are a first-year. You have a lot to learn.
- Treat your colleagues with respect. Be respectful and courteous to paralegals, marketing staff and assistants at your firm. You are going to need them for some part of work in the long run.
- Don’t lose the connections you’ve made in law school. Keep in touch with your classmates, whether it’s through LinkedIn or even through annual coffee meetups. You never know where you (or your friends) will be in the next ten or twenty years.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. If you are too busy to take on that new client matter, or non-billable project, say so. Taking on something you can’t keep your word on will oftentimes be worse than any impression created by saying no.
- Stay confident. You are going to screw something up, nobody is perfect. But you need to stay confident and aggressive.
Good luck as you embark on your legal career journey. This is an exciting time, yet nerve-wracking as well. You can maximize your success if you follow our thoughtful tips and most importantly, recognize your goals.
If you have any questions about your legal career don’t hesitate to contact our team today!