The road to becoming a lawyer certainly isn’t a short one. But if you’ve finished three years of your undergraduate degree, BPTC, and a year of pupillage in Chambers, congratulations! You’ve made it.
However, the post-pandemic world certainly hasn’t been easy for professionals in any field, including law. With having to manage their physical and mental and health amid a pandemic, new lawyers have also had to worry about finding jobs in the middle of lockdowns and economies suffering from recessions.
But as the world slowly starts to get back to normal with vaccination drives, so do many people looking for work. So, if you’ve just entered into the world of law and are looking for some tips to help you survive and thrive, we’ve got your back!
In this article, we will be discussing tips for the young world to give you a sense of direction and help you to succeed in the world of practicing law.
1. Find a mentor and ask them all the questions you can think of
Law, more than anything else, revolves around research and practice. The more you research and practice, the more tricks-of-trade and information you pick up. You can easily research precedents and other information on your own. But to have a mentor whom you can watch practice the law will go a long way in solving your queries and questions about the law.
A mentor is someone from whom you can discuss any legal career-related questions, even the ones you may think sound foolish. But they will help you throughout your legal career. A mentor can be anyone, such as a senior lawyer at your firm.
So, as a fresh lawyer, try your best to build connections and socialise with those around you. It will make your early years easier and take some of the pressure off of you. Mentorship is really advantageous for up and coming lawyers and you should definitely give it a try.
2. Work-Life balance is essential
Lawyers work from early morning to whenever the work gets done. There are hardly ever any standard working hours and work-life balance mostly seems like a dream that can’t come true. But through all the hard work and ridiculously long working hours, it’s essential not to forget that looking after yourself is necessary.
Now and then, remember to take a break and spend time with your loved ones. Even if it’s for a few hours on your day off. And most importantly, be kind to yourself. Everyone early on in their career is bound to make mistakes but lawyers generally tend to go a whole lot harder on themselves.
Always remember: if you made a mistake, you learned something from it, it’s a lesson that will only help you later on in your career. Learn, forget, and move on!
The sooner you realise the importance of networking in the legal profession, the sooner you’ll adjust and thrive in your career. Not many lawyers can build a practice merely based on their contacts from a law school which is why networking is a must.
After a long hectic day of working, there is nothing more you’ll want than to go home and catch a break. But every once in a while, it’s necessary to attend seminars, parties, and client parties. To succeed, you must learn to love networking.
There are many sources from which you’ll be getting potential clients. When attending seminars, try finding ones that are related to your specialisation and chosen field.
Other efficient ways to network include staying active in your university’s groups and attending charity events. Potential clients will appreciate you fighting for a good cause and may reach out to you themselves.
4. Advertise your services
If you want to open up for your law firm or practice law independently, make sure you advertise your firm and your services well and start doing so at the start of your law career. You’ll start getting a good return on your investment at an early age.
The best way to advertise your services is definitely through building a strong LinkedIn Network or through digital marketing. Every industry now has moved on to the web, including law!
It’s highly likely for your potential client to turn to Google search every time they get themselves into trouble. Therefore, an efficient marketing strategy will help generate good business.
5. Changes are okay
This is another important thing every lawyer needs to know. Sometimes, you may start as a solicitor. But over time, you may want to make a change and start working as a barrister. It’s essential to know that these changes are okay as long as you’re doing what you love and doing it with passion.
6. Perfect your negotiation skills
Negotiating on the behalf of your clients will most likely be something you’ll have to do every day. Therefore, it’s better to perfect your negotiation skills at the start of your career. Remember, staying calm and collaborative is the key to becoming a good negotiator.
Apart from that, make sure to never show up to a negotiation meeting unprepared. Know exactly what you want and make the first offer. If that doesn’t work, make counter-offers and recognise hardball tactics. The other side is likely to depend on them to make you budge.
7. Seek feedback
Whenever you’re assigned a task by a senior lawyer, try to ask for their feedback once you complete the task. Clarify to them that you’re not looking for flattery. Instead, you honestly want to know how you’re doing so you can make improvements.
8. Have faith
Lastly, have faith in yourself. There is a reason you made it this far, you’ve worked hard then and you’ll work hard now. It’s okay to make mistakes and learn but it’s never okay to give up.
The art of surviving and thriving for young lawyers
Being a new lawyer may not seem the easiest job when you start fresh but it will only get better with time. We hope you find our tips useful and do well on your path to success!
Author Myrah Abrar is a computer science graduate with a passion for web development and digital marketing. She writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions, Digital Marketing. – Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash