3 Tips on How to Succeed at the Top
I recently spoke to young lawyers about leadership and entrepreneurship at a webcast event organized by Ms. JD. It was a high-energy, enthusiastic crowd.
There were so many good questions that we ran out of time to address them all, so I would like to revisit a crucial query that emerged: What are the top three things women lawyers can do to succeed at the highest levels of our profession?
First, there is no substitute for hard work — be seen, be heard and work hard. Volunteer for the toughest jobs, and do them well. Volunteer for career-making cases. Use pro bono cases as a way to work with and impress supervising partners. Ask intelligent questions after partner-presented training sessions. Figure out influential partners with whom you would like to work. Introduce yourself, offering something of value to them, like researching and writing an article in their area of specialization.
Second, be an outstanding lawyer. There is no substitute for excellence. Provide outstanding service and value to the client, be responsive and go the extra mile.
Third, network — develop and retain relationships for mutual benefits, beginning now. Rainmakers build relationships that serve them for life, and so should you. You can become a successful rainmaker.
Take advantage of even the smallest networking opportunities offered. For example, most large firms buy tables or tickets for events and send out emails asking people to fill them. Associates should respond and go. Usually a senior partner is behind the sponsorship, and the associate should take advantage of the opportunity to meet and talk with him or her.
And one final piece of advice: Be yourself! Observe others’ style, but only adopt what reflects your own style. Be authentic!
Focus on these actions and you will build an enviable career.