There are over 1.3 million lawyers in the U.S. which means competition is fierce. While you can’t control everything, it is in your best interest to work towards personal success. There is no exact science when it comes to being a great attorney. Cultivating transparency and trust is a solid foundation, but building on it is where you can go from good to great.
Go Above the Minimum CLE Requirement
CLE programs and activities are constantly available to attorneys. While a minimum amount of hours are required by the state, doing the minimum never made anyone great. CLE’s offer you an opportunity to stay informed of the constant changes in law and maintain and sharpen your skills. Clients, referral sources and employers seek out attorneys who know their practice areas inside and out. By attending above and beyond the required courses, you can build a reputation as a guru. Put your best into becoming the best.
Build and Maintain Professional Relationships
The bread and butter of any business is managing and maintaining your professional relationships. An attorney’s main focus is their clients, prospects and referral sources. Maintaining a good rapport with clients goes a long way. Staying in touch with their needs through newsletters, blogs, emails and mailings keeps you fresh on their mind and taken care of. Meeting new people is great, but you must cultivate the worthwhile relationships to see if they are a good candidate to become a new client or referral source. Following up is the most critical component of building your network, whether it is old clients or prospects. A CRM is an insightful and interactive tool for managing all your professional relationships between storing business cards and setting reminders to follow up.
Participate in Mentorships
The fact that attorneys are extremely busy is no news flash. But it is important to forge relationships that aid in your professional development. Taking the time to mentor is critical to becoming a better, more effective attorney. Either side of a mentorship is a rewarding relationship that promotes individual development. Many believe it is your duty as an attorney to help the new crop navigate their career. Finding the right mentor/protégé can take time because there is no one size fits all. In order to truly benefit from any mentoring relationship, both the mentor and protégé must ensure that they’re trustworthy, open and willing to participate in the requisite level of give-and- take inherent in any good personal interaction.