What Beginner Lawyers Need to Know

As a beginner lawyer, you probably have many goals, dreams, and ambitions for your career. However, the decisions you make at the beginning of your career can drastically affect your future. The challenge is that, often,  beginner lawyers do not have the right information and make costly mistakes. As a young lawyer, you need more than just the knowledge of the US Constitution or other Federal laws and statutes.

This article examines some of the things beginner lawyers need to know to succeed in their chosen careers.

1. Improve Your Command of English

While this might seem like something that you’ll take for granted, especially if you’ve gone through law school, it’s still very vital. As a beginner lawyer, the impressions you make on senior lawyers, clients, and judges will affect how far you can go in your career. One of the ways that they’ll judge you is via the deliverables you produce. The briefs you write, contracts you draft, and notes you take affect the impressions senior colleagues have of you.

If there are simple grammatical or lexical errors in your work, it can present you as not being thorough or absent-minded and hurt your chances of getting promoted. Investing in a tool that helps you catch grammatical errors is also a good investment.

2. Invest in Resources

As a young lawyer, your workload is likely to be heavy. However, you must give your best to all the tasks you are given. To maintain a high level of quality, invest in resources that make your work easier, faster, and more accurate. Resources can include software and other tools to improve your productivity, training & workshops to help hone your skills, or other resources like a lawyer career guide to help you make the right decisions.

Investing in resources can seem counterproductive because it costs money, but the benefits it will have on your work will be worth it. By producing a consistently high level of quality work, it becomes easier to advance in your career.

3. Never Miss A Deadline

Some young lawyers treat deadlines like arbitrary advice. Don’t! If you miss a deadline, you may never do anything for that client or senior colleague again. Understandably, you might be juggling multiple projects and subconsciously judging one project as more important than the other. Unfortunately, the person who assigned the deadline thinks of their project as the most important, and few, if any, excuses are tenable.

If your plate is full, ask for an extension. Most clients and senior lawyers are reasonable and can grant you an extension. Even if they can’t and have to work with somebody else to complete the task, you’ve made a positive impression. They know that you are someone that respects deadlines and that if they give you a task, you’ll treat it as important. Respects the deadlines given to you; they are extremely important.

4. Tech Skills are Important

As the world becomes more digital, so will your law firm. Innovation is beginning to break into the legal sector, and you can’t afford to be left behind. The increasing sophistication of technology available to law firms means that many job positions might become obsolete very soon. However, it’s not all doom and gloom; knowing how to incorporate various aspects of technology into your work makes you more valuable to your firm.

So, brush up on your tech skills. While it’s very good to have a working knowledge of the law, you’ll need to know more than just the US constitution or Federal and state laws. You need to have robust tech skills to stay relevant in the 21st-century legal workplace.

5. Build Valuable Connections

What you know is important, but who knows you is equally as important. As a young lawyer, strive to build useful and valuable relationships with people around you. From senior colleagues to contemporaries and even junior officers, ensure that you build the right connections.

It can be tempting to isolate yourself and just do your work, but that is seldom enough. Make efforts to be known. Attend networking events, form a study group around a lawyer career guide, volunteer for a new project, or join an association. Then, become a valuable resource to people around you. Those connections will take you a long way in your career.

These five tips will help beginner lawyers along their journey to the top of their careers.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.