By Jennifer Lockman • October 25, 2016•Writers in Residence, Features, Guest Bloggers and Profiles of Women in the Law
The very second a woman conceives a child, an endless cycle of growth initiates and the entire life is nothing but another name of growth. From babies to toddlers to teenagers to adults to professionals, humans evolve into bigger and better beings. There is no limit to learning and education. Every profession in the world, be it medicine or teaching or law, puts no limit on the amount of knowledge a person can acquire.
With the rapid changes in technologies, use of social media forums, the strength of word of mouth, changing economies, demanding customers and other factors of the new world, every profession is faced with the challenge of rapid personal development and professional growth and the profession of law is no different. In an increasingly competitive law market, lawyers are faced with the challenge of surviving and thriving by equipping themselves with the right skills and personal attitude.
While employers do provide training; the personal and professional development is a law student/attorney’s ultimate responsibility. To build a successful career, it is paramount to develop communication skills, relationship building with clients and a strong service orientation and the surprising fact is that these very skills are not taught in a law school. However, with the help from their respective law firms and their personal determination, law students/attorneys can learn from some tips for professional conduct and development and an ace in their careers.
Tips For Personal Development, Professional Growth and Conduct
The first and the foremost step in this regard is a complete commitment to personal development and an aptitude to learn. Instead of creating an aura of defense around yourself, keep yourself open to knowledge and experiences of others and with each experience, reflect upon how this experience makes you feel and keep a look at the admirable skills and qualities of attorneys around you. Whatever you feel and learn, maintain a journal and write.
Focusing too hard on one aspect of a case blurs out the other possible aspects of learning. The law is a vast field and knowing which areas of law you enjoy the most is a must. Keeping an open attitude towards learning will help to reflect upon the areas that you enjoy the most and to learn where you lag behind in those areas. When you write down what you experience, it will help you streamline your future personal and professional development goals and focus on the skills that need improvement. It might sound hard to believe, but the field of law has a lot to do with reading and writing than we can imagine. They need to write contracts and policies that have to be perfect and the smallest of the problem can cause legal allegations and therefore it is essential to be proficient at proofreading as well. Being good at writing essays is an essential part of research and may be of great help at bar exams and so it is imperative for even lawyers to develop strong reading and writing skills. Developing writing skills over the course of time can truly help you in improving your personal development. You can take help from essay writing service providers in enhancing your approach towards writing, editing, paraphrasing and proofreading. Such service providers helps in polishing the existing writing skills and makes you proficient and expert at essay writing which subsequently improves your approach towards different topics and develop your personal and professional growth.
Apart from that; do not blindly follow your seniors but look for aspirations as seniors are an institution within themselves. Learn from them and share your burden of personal development with other in-house lawyers. Take notes from their writings and practice on your own, as it says “Practice makes the man perfect”.
The internal competency that is crucial for a lawyer or any professional associated with the service industry, as a matter of fact, is C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N; Your communication with yourself, your communication with your colleagues and seniors and at the top; your communication with your clients. Retention of clients depends on less on the kind of service you provide and more with how you deal with them and make them feel about their issues. Although customers are not always right, practice more to respect and respond with tolerance. You do not have to lose your self-respect but learn to apologize when it is your mistake and even sometimes when it’s not because after all modesty is the first step to the road of self-enlightenment.
Professional development for any lawyer is a mix of facilitated learning, qualifications and programs, conferences, mentoring combined with informal learning and practice. With all the up gradation going on around the world regarding compulsory professional development of lawyers, only those lawyers can thrive that know how to add value. Do not consider your course books as the only and complete source of wisdom. To learn from experiences of other lawyers, get a subscription to law magazine and read about the latest cases, their complications and final verdicts. Go through case studies on the internet and practice in your free time.
At the top of all other facets of professional development, being able to sell yourself is the most difficult. Do not forget to build a strong profile on LinkedIn and Twitter where you can interact with other professionals.