In order to be a successful attorney, you need to have a number of different skills. Here are 15 lawyer tips and tricks that will help you succeed in law.
By following these tips, you can develop the skills you need to be an effective lawyer.
Remember, always stay motivated and focused on your goals! Let’s get started!
15 Lawyer Tips and Tricks
The definition of success is not one-size-fits-all. It can be defined in many ways and it depends on what you want to achieve with your life or career. New lawyers have already achieved success by just making it through law school.
Now that these young lawyers are preparing for their stint in the legal industry, here are some of the best tips to help legal practitioners obtain success in their field.
1. Keep Learning
The legal profession offers multitudes of opportunities to keep on learning and growing. In fact, in most states in the United States, lawyers are required to complete certain hours of continuing legal education, or CLE, to maintain their legal practice license. Lawyers must always be updated with new and changing laws. Even lawyers with years of experience have more to learn, especially with the growing technological advancements. Make it a priority to expand your knowledge to be the best lawyer that you can be.
2. Undergo a Mentorship
Starting out in a law firm after law school may seem overwhelming. Yes, as a lawyer, you are the best person to provide clients with legal advice, but it’s also a good idea to have a mentor to navigate the legal system with you. Sometimes law firms will offer mentorship programs, but this isn’t always the best place to find a mentor. As a word of caution, not all lawyers who decide to become mentors will be a good teacher.
That’s why the best way to find your mentor is to keep your options open. Lawyers might meet their mentors in bar associations, CLE seminars, or purely by chance. In this way, you get to build your network (more on that later) while finding the mentor that best fits your needs. Plus, lawyer and mentor relationships may even develop into lifelong friendships.
3. Take Risks
Risks are necessary for every profession. Afterall, a legal career is a risk in itself because of the clients that you meet, the bosses you might have, and sometimes just the job itself can be a risk. Still, the risks that lawyers take to achieve their personal and professional goals are often very rewarding. Plus, even if the risk doesn’t pay off, it can still help develop resilience and confidence.
4. Reinvent if Necessary
Businesses reinvent themselves to adapt to the changes in their industry. Even a prospective lawyer must also decide their specialty before getting into the actual practice of law.
Additionally, during your career as a lawyer, you might find that your interest lies in a different direction. As an example, if you started out as a trial lawyer and decide to pivot to real estate law, you can do so as long as you can reinvent your professional status. Plus, another good thing about a legal career is you have the option to create your own practice or even get into another aspect of law such as human resources management, publishing, or consultancy.
5. Enhance your Leadership and Business Development Skills
A great lawyer can navigate the legal waters to get the best result for their client. For this reason, it’s crucial that you take the time to develop leadership skills in order to be an excellent lawyer. Leadership skills establish credibility and trust between the lawyer and the client.
In the same way, business development skills should also be enhanced to complement your leadership skills. Business development is how you reach your clients as well as how to run a business. These skills go hand-in-hand as one day you might want to open your own practice or do some marketing for your firm.
6. Know What Success Means to You
Legal representation means that a lawyer represents their client for a legal matter. It may seem that the more the representation, the better the pay, but this isn’t always the case. Lawyers typically do make a lot of money, but some lawyers choose to take a much smaller paycheck in order to do work that feels more impactful to them. That being said, a lawyer’s paycheck does not necessarily represent success. In other words, you can’t gauge your success simply by your salary. On the other hand, fulfillment and happiness in your job are better metrics for success.
7. Know Your Value
Never sell yourself short. If you think your working environment is no longer healthy for your mind and body, it’s important to recognize this and look for another firm. Or, better yet, you could start your own private practice.
8. Take Advantage of Technology
Nowadays, lawyers can find new clients through the internet. Some lawyers have even established their law firms virtually. Unsurprisingly, the pandemic made it hard for regular meetings and face-to-face interactions, so the legal industry adapted to these changes. Now, anyone can seek legal counsel just by searching for lawyers online. You can even find ads for virtual lawyers on social media! As a lawyer, it’s important to know what technology exists for your career and to take advantage of the benefits this tech can offer for your practice.
9. Manage Your Time
Time management is an important factor in keeping a healthy work-life balance. It’s vital that you keep your mental and physical health in tip-top shape by taking that well-deserved vacation time. Plus, if work or training can’t be avoided, why not incorporate your CLE training and vacation? With the Eduvacation℠ of Destination CLEs, you can make sure that your CLE credit hours are valid while on a relaxing and scenic vacation.
10. Hone Your People Skills
Good communication is the key to a successful attorney-client relationship. One of the most important components of being a lawyer is the ability to keep your clients content with your services. In this way, you can expand your reach to other potential clients through positive feedback and word of mouth.
11. Build Your Network
A very important part of a career in law is to meet and network with other lawyers, as well as potential clients. This is crucial because peers can help shape your legal career. They can offer helpful insights, resources, and even new clientele. Cultivate every relationship that you have.
12. Values Are Everything
No matter what, always maintain your integrity because it’s the foundation of who you are as a lawyer. You can do this by taking responsibility for your mistakes and actions while holding on to your ethical judgment. It’s not a coincidence that mandatory CLE credits almost always require lawyers to have at least two hours of seminar on ethics. This is a firm reminder for every lawyer that having strong morals matters, especially in a legal career.
13. Keep the Passion Burning
More than likely, you finished law school because you were passionate about it. In almost all situations, passion in your career yields the best possible outcome for you and your client. In order to feel genuinely fulfilled in your career, it’s important to keep your passion for helping others during their difficult times a priority.
14. Acceptance is Key
Accepting failure with a positive attitude can make you a better lawyer in many ways. Unfortunately, there will be times that you’ll lose a case because of various reasons, such as poor case management or insufficient focus on the client. These hiccups are a part of your road to success, and it’s important to learn from them in order to be the best lawyer you can be.
15. Persist When All Else Fails
Similarly, perseverance is what allowed you to graduate from law school. It’s important to keep persevering to reach your goals both in your career and in life. It’s in your best interest, as well as your clients’, to keep being determined and to not give up, even with the most difficult cases.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it should give you a good starting point to help you succeed in law. Keep these tips in mind as you begin your legal career and continue to learn and grow as a lawyer.
For more tips to help you succeed in your legal career, check out our FREE ebook called How to Be a Better Lawyer.