How much time did I waste as a young lawyer? I wish I could have that time back now. When I joined my first law firm, after 4 years in the United States Air Force, I did not have a clue on what it would take for me to become a successful lawyer.
Intuitively I knew I should work hard, become a sponge to learn new things and develop business. But, what was the difference between working hard and working smart, what should I be learning and how would I develop business?
Older lawyers answered my questions, and frequently gave me unsolicited advice on what I “needed” to do, but I still wasted an inordinate amount of time fumbling.
Over the last several months, I have written four things that I hope will lead you from doing things intuitively to doing things strategically. Fortunately, they have been referenced or published by Bar Associations.
When I turned on my computer a few weeks ago, I saw an email from a lawyer I coached 5 years ago. He shared with me that the ABA Journal had used my recent blog posts to create their Question of the Week: What do you wish someone had told you when you were a first-year lawyer?
The ABA was not the only group to share my thoughts for young lawyers. Law schools, State and Local Bar Associations and law firms have tweeted, emailed and otherwise shared my two recent posts: 25 Things I wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was a First Year Lawyer and 15 Additional Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I was a First Year Lawyer.
Why did these two blogs posted in December attract so much attention? I think it is because most young lawyers begin their careers the way I did. They have been taught the law, but they need help on what they should know to be a successful lawyer. I certainly wish someone had taken time to help me my first year.
Recently I have been working with an energetic group of young associates. They are anxious to learn about what they should do now to develop business later. I recently posted: First Year Lawyers: Do this one thing for future client development. I also wrote an article for the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA): Practical Tips on Client Development for Young Lawyers.
I hope you will find these ideas helpful and pass them on to friends in your firm and community. Also, remember I am doing monthly Career/Client Development Webinars. The cost is only $49.95. In March our program will focus on Client Development 2014: How to Use the Old Tools and New Tools. I am also looking for 2-3 more associates to join our monthly group client development coaching program. That cost is only $95 per month. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for either program.