By Anonymous • January 22, 2019•Careers, Firms and the Private Sector
Personal injury lawyers get a bum rap, but there are more ethical lawyers working this practice area than unethical ones. Building a positive reputation and credibility is key, and that can be particularly challenging in this competitive field.
With a carefully planned strategy and persistence, it’s possible to become the go-to lawyer for personal injury cases in your area.
Keep Your Word and Mind Your Manners
Honesty and integrity are crucial when developing a positive reputation. Mind what you say, and do what you say. If you aren’t doing this already, start now – and keep doing it throughout your entire career.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep or claims you can’t support. Remember that your character and your word will define your reputation in the legal world.
Give everyone – including yourself – common courtesy. Be positive. Don’t judge. Say “please” and “thank you.” Greet everyone you encounter.
Keep in mind that your behavior and your actions in and out of the workplace will affect your professional reputation.
Follow-Up after Meetings
A big part of building your credibility and reputation is developing and nurturing relationships. Follow up after initial meetings and you’ll soon be known as the lawyer who takes time to follow up and plan for the next meeting.
Whether it’s networking or working with a new client, following up shows that building relationships is a priority for you.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
Following up after meetings and keeping your word will help you develop a reputation of honesty and integrity. Demonstrating your expertise will go a long way in building your credibility as a knowledgeable, capable lawyer. There are several ways to do this.
One way to demonstrate your expertise is to do some public speaking. Speak at events where you might find clients or network.
If you're running a solo practice, you can use your blog or website to build your credibility. A car accident lawyer may detail all of the steps involved in filing a lawsuit or discuss how claims are valued. You might discuss how different laws apply to different cases, or just provide general knowledge of your practice area.
Along with blog and web page content, you may also consider writing an article for a trade publication. Having published work can go a long way in establishing your credibility as a lawyer.
Beware Social Media
It’s impossible to ignore the potential of social media as a reputation-building tool, but it’s easy to misuse these platforms and harm your credibility.
Remember that your social accounts should reflect your reputation. Make sure that your accounts are professional and clean.
Answering questions on social media can help build your credibility, but you need to ensure that each response is well thought out. Casually answering a question without any thought can do more harm than good to your reputation.
Credibility is important to every lawyer’s career, but for those in the personal injury field, it’s even more important simply because the general public often has a negative view of the practice area. Demonstrating your expertise and building a reputation of honesty and integrity may help change that viewpoint.