Waiting for bar results can be tough. As anxious and excited as you might be—have you thought about what life is going to be like once you start working? If you are an employer—have you considered what would be the best way to prepare your newly-minted attorney for practice?
The RMN Agency has been blessed with the opportunity to work with many promising attorneys. We have had to opportunity to place the most in-demand and talented attorneys into their dream roles.
Here are a few quick words of advice to new lawyers on how to stay desirable to their employers:
Professionalism isn’t a badge that you pin onto yourself once you get sworn in—it’s something you have to work towards. It takes years to build a good reputation—and seconds to destroy it. The manner in which you physically present yourself will color how you are perceived. If you are perceived as a professional, you will be treated like one. Carry yourself in a professional manner as you sit, stand, and speak. You are not at a bar with your friends, nor are you at a funeral—find the right balance.
Be on time. Show up late and someone else gets hired; show up when expected and someone else will get their earlier; show up early, and you are on time. Watch the clock—watch the filing deadlines—be on time.
It’s about your client, not you. Clients want attorneys that understand their business and can keep them from making terrible decisions. Take the time to learn about your clients and their business on your own. Review their annual reports. Set up alerts for your clients and their competitors. Do not place your desire for attention or your ego above the best interests of your clients.
Know thyself. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Know how to rein yourself in or how to embrace the uncomfortable. Be charismatic in the context of your personality. Most importantly—find colleagues and support that help realign what’s out of balance.
Know thy technology. Learn how things works before you need to work them. Practice ahead of time. Check it out on youtube. Bring spare batteries or bulbs.
Master your work before your work masters you. It’s not enough to know the law or regulations—you’re no longer taking a law school exam. Now, you have to stay on top of emerging legal issues and think about how to address them.
This also means you need to pay attention to details and review documents as often as you need until it’s as perfect as you can get it. Once you show that you can deliver work that doesn’t have minor mistakes, or that you always know what’s on the cutting edge, you can focus on delivering excellent service to your clients.