WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE
FOR YOUNG LAWYERS? AS TOLD TO JESSICA TAM AND ADRIENNE SCHOFHAUSER
Stay connected with your
peers from the get-go and
don’t lose touch. It’s an
investment that will really
pay off in the long run.
Many new lawyers get so wrapped
up in learning their trade that they lose
contact with their early relationships.
Obviously, being a highly skilled lawyer is
important, but today that’s just not enough
for long-term success. So make it a point
to also consciously cultivate your peer
relationships from Day 1. You’ll be thankful
later in your career when you’re in a
position to really start bringing in business.
You just never know where that person
you sat next to in college or law school
may end up—he or she may someday be
the general counsel or CEO of a company
seeking outside counsel.
ANGELA ELBERT / NEAL, GERBER &
EISENBERG, INSURANCE COVERAGE
Plan your career around
your family, not the other
If you want to get married, have babies,
travel the world, do it now and make your
career fit around them. There are hundreds
of ways and dozens of years to practice law,
but a limited amount of time for you to do
what’s really important. How much time?
You won’t know until the time’s up.
Relying on others to give you work
will eventually put you out of a job. In
early years of practice, join something: a
club, an organization, a team, something
that allows you to meet other people in
business. Work with them on committees,
volunteer to do something nonlegal, and
make professional friends. Joining a club or
committee by itself just gets you on a list
and a copy of the newsletter. These people
will be your clients someday, but only if you
show up and volunteer to do something.
Humility, civility and a good sense of
humor will serve you and your clients well.
ERIC L. SINGER / ICE MILLER,
The way you do anything is the
way you do everything. Don’t
expect others to edit your
assignments. And go beyond
what is expected of you.
Strive for high-quality work that you
would feel confident sending directly
to a client or a judge. Finish written
assignments early and come back to them
a day later to make the arguments and
presentation even more succinct and clear.
Lawyers are competitive, but protect your
reputation by being fair and taking the
high road. Be a team player and endeavor
to make colleagues and clients look good.
This requires listening and investment of
nonbillable time, but the rewards in terms
of professional relationships and potential
business are considerable.
CATHY SUGAYAN / SEDGWICK, INSURANCE
HAVE AN IDEA FOR AN
Email it to Beth Taylor at