By Dennis Hung • November 21, 2018•Careers
Many young lawyers enter the legal profession with great expectations. They often look forward to experiencing the thrills of the profession. Young lawyers are eager to create lifelong professional relationships with colleagues and clients. This is indeed an exciting time for a young lawyer but soon reality sets in. The day-to-day work of a lawyer turns out to be quite monotonous and boring; this is a sharp departure from what you initially expected. Practice turns out to be totally different from what you thought; it is a race and a competition for work. At this point, you come to the realization that this is not sustainable. Only the young lawyers who accept this bitter reality and work proactively turn out be successful in the long-run.
The truth of the matter is, top performers usually come into the profession with a sense of gratitude and enthusiasm that some of their colleagues lack. This frame of mind plays a pivotal role in their progression and appreciation of the job. It helps them establish better connections in their place of work and propagates a sense of respect from colleagues and partners. The relationships they forge at this point are crucial in determining whether they are successful. Below are a few things young lawyers can do to stand out from the rest.
Have Realistic Expectations and Goals
When starting out, you might feel that you are the very best: a true high achiever. It is possible that you might have, outshone your classmates and landed a good job. You feel that you are deserving of all the wonderful things the profession has to offer. This is a common mistake among young lawyers. It can also be a set back from advancing in your career. Pride is a recipe for failure; stepping on others toes works in the short-term but never in the long-term.
It is important that you assess yourself in a realistic manner. It will enable you to navigate the profession gracefully, and it will ultimately earn you the respect and adoration you crave. You need to realize you have very little experience in the profession. This means you need to humble yourself and learn from your seniors and colleagues. By doing this, you will be able to generate excellent results in your work. You also need to realize that the law is not practiced in a vacuum. The field of law is a business; you have to work within this reality.
Law firms are well known for creating the misplaced notion that you will, always, be given the most interesting jobs. This is not usually the case; the process of allocating work is usually a complex matter. You need to be alive to the fact that you have zero experience. It is important that you learn before you can demand certain jobs. The process of building credibility, knowledge, and experience is usually slow.
In order to be an outstanding young lawyer, you need to realize that patience is key. Do not let impatience hinder you from learning the skills that form the pillars of something much bigger. Take time to learn skills such as drafting and negotiating. Consider enrolling yourself in a negotiations training course. It will help you secure your clients' interests more efficiently. You must also start building your own personal brand as a young lawyer. It will serve you immensely as you progress in ranks.
When you are genuinely enthusiastic about your work, you greatly increase your chances of succeeding. It is important that you learn as much as you can from your seniors and colleagues. You should keep abreast with developments in your line of interest; this helps you become efficient and reliable. Enthusiasm basically means that you bring positive energy to your work. This is something that is easily picked up by senior associates and partners. When you have a negative attitude towards the work you are given, chances are that your work will reflect that. This will be detrimental to your career and success.