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Two people shaking hands; image by Rawpixel, via Unsplash.com.
Two people shaking hands; image by Rawpixel, via Unsplash.com.

Your law school years are past you. You have been offered a job, and you are ready to start your career. While it may seem that you have a smooth road ahead, you are about to face quite a lot of challenges specific to novice lawyers.

This article discusses ways to make it at a law firm.

Learn from more experienced legal beagles

The task of novice lawyers is to assist their more experienced colleagues. If you manage to build some good relationships with them, this will help acquire valuable connections, which you can leverage later on in your legal career. For a start, you can learn to anticipate the needs of your colleagues and offer your help without being asked for it.

Find a mentor

It will often happen that you will be supervised by more experienced co-workers. But if you want these people to really help you become a better lawyer, you will have to work hard. The best way to encourage others to help you in your professional growth is to demonstrate your desire to learn and deliver on tasks to the best of your ability. Most likely, if people see some potential in you, they will gladly show you the ropes of the legal world and teach you the skills you can put on your resume.

Say “Yes” more often

Even if you already have too much on your plate, you should not immediately refuse to take on a new assignment since next time, the firm may find someone else to do the job. This does not mean to say that you should take on everything at once, sacrificing quality over quantity.

Collection of law books; image by Giammarco Boscaro, via Unsplash.com.
Collection of law books; image by Giammarco Boscaro, via Unsplash.com.

Here is what you should do instead.

Thank your colleague for choosing to entrust you with a given project, but mention that you already have some projects running. However, assure them that you will be happy to take on their task within a few days. Also, find out what part of the assignment needs to be done right away and what can wait for a while.

Discuss your assignments in person

When you get assignments from colleagues, I recommend you try to discuss the details face-to-face. People are always more willing to interact in person rather than through email correspondence. Besides, a personal discussion will always help you better understand what needs to be done on your part.

Deliver more than is expected

Working your regular 8 hours a day is the minimum of what is required of you. However, you should focus on getting things done rather than on the hours you put in at the job. Do not be afraid to make some extra effort and you will be rewarded.

If you need some motivation, think of Elon Musk who worked, on average, 100 hours a week for as long as 15 years. This kind of dedication is part of the reason Elon is now among the most influential people on the planet.

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