Just starting out as a lawyer? Sage advice from the pros
If you’ve just started out as a lawyer, there’s no doubt a lot of stuff going through your mind. That’s normal, and it’s something that affects most lawyers as they’re getting started. Questions like “what career path should I take?” and “how do I best serve my clients?” are all important as you start off.
But the decisions that you make early on will dramatically affect your career prospects going forward. That’s why it’s a good idea to start working towards your future immediately and making sure that you achieve your goals. The following is some advice on how to do precisely that from the pros.
Find A Niche Within A Specialty
You’ve heard of finding a niche, but a niche within a specialty? Isn’t that going a little too far? Well, apparently not. According to Lawrence Buckfire of Buckfire & Buckfire, young lawyers who can specialize in a particular area instantly become a lot more valuable to the law firm. Replacing that person suddenly becomes a lot more difficult when they are the only expert in town on a subject like defect litigation or overseas investments. His advice: get specializing early.
Think Like A Business Owners
Law might be a profession protected by layers and layers of regulation and special interest groups pushing up wages, but that doesn’t mean that lawyers don’t have to think on their feet. If lawyers want to be successful, they have to think like business owners, at least according to Victor Cardona from Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti. He says that lawyers need to remember that their clients are their customers and that adversarial relationships rarely work, especially over the long term. Treat them as you’d like to be treated yourself, he says, and the rest of the relationship will follow.
Grab A Coach
Most entrepreneurs have a mentor, whether they realize it or not. This is somebody that they can turn to for advice who’s been in their position in the past. Lawyers, because of the nature of law work, need a mentor too. A coach for lawyers is somebody who can help develop your leadership skills and discuss your career strategy with you. Often it’s a person who has been through the rigors of a junior position themselves and understands how to proceed to more senior roles.
Use Your Unique Advantages As A Millennial
Millennials tend to be a negative bunch about the job market: and who can blame them? It’s been tough for young people, especially since the recession. But Anthony Johnson of Johnson & Vines says that Millennials often have a bunch of skills that their colleagues just don’t have. This includes things like knowing how to leverage social media for maximum career advantage and understanding how internet marketing works. This is something that the older generation don’t find as natural. Millennials can use these skills to help the companies that they work for, says Johnson, which is a good way to improve your standing, get noticed and generally build your reputation within the firm.
Have you thought about a career as a lawyer? Let us know how you are finding it so far