• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

YOUNG LAWYERS’ FORUM

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You have taken the first tiny steps of your legal education, followed by a ‘brief’ sigh of relief. Now your walk into the real world begins – Life at your dream law firm. Some of us take this step with anxiety and even trepidation, while others do so much excitement. While there is no hard and fast rule to success, here are a few tips to cushion the journey as you go. I hope you find them useful.

1. Be teachable.

Listen attentively. Show yourself teachable and ready to learn. Make actual and definite adjustments when you are taught. Try not to repeat mistakes from such learning.

2. Be professional in your appearance

Dress professionally and this includes your accessories and even eyewear. For the legal industry, dressing professionally is a matter of dignity and and signifies proficiency too.

3. Learn how to find facts and information

Doing this successfully will make you the ‘go-to’ person. Read, take notes during office meetings, follow up on information shared at meetings, note relevant sources, deal with one piece of information at a time, establish your own organisational system and do not be afraid to ask for help.

4.Be Genial and get involved in the law firm

Be friendly and amiable. It cost nothing. Mix with the crowd at work. Get to know other associates and even senior associates. Attend firm events and show yourself agreeable and likeable. This has its perks.

5. Get Involved at the Firm

Participate. Engage yourself. Get involved in the various aspects of life in the firm. Attend firm events, participate in committee assignments our All of these will not go unnoticed.  If you intend to grow in this law firm and possibly make partnership, then it is important firm members outside your team, unit or practice group are acquainted with you.

6. Seek roles and assignments

Develop relationships within the firm that would to find work that interests you. This will help you earn trust and respect of other associates and seniors alike, and they’ll learn to trust you with their transactions and deals too. With time, you may begin to receive high quality, substantive work.

7. Utilise your time

Don’t spend your afternoons on social media. In your spare time (if you have any), move around the firm and check in with team leads, seniors, partners etc., to see if there’s work to be done and if it’s something you can help with.  This attitude will be appreciated by many and will also help you develop an early reputation as being someone who is self-staring.

8. Be Respectful and Appreciative of Everyone

Be kind, respectful and warm to everyone you meet in the; it doesn’t matter if they are fee earners, non-fee earners or support staff. Just be appreciative. You will be amazed at the benefits this could yield.

9. Be comfortable being yourself.

Be open. Be real. No airs. Don’t act. It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. Simply work on yourself and build on your strengths. Seniors and partners will see you and appreciate your effort. That will be helpful.

10. Be Alert, Accessible and Proactive.

Respond promptly to emails, voicemails, calls, text messages, etc.

This portrays you as a reliable and responsive member of staff. Thankfully, in this technology age, it will not be too difficult to achieve this.

All the best!

Theo.’