Friday, March 4, 2016

Job Tips: Making Your Mark

One of our readers wants your input on the following:  What tips do you have for how a first- or second-year attorney can stand out and get ahead in the practice of law? What qualities are you looking for in associates? Good writing? Energetic? Timely? Rainmakers?

18 comments:

  1. Far above everything else: The ability to consistently attract and retain paying clients. Any law review hack can write briefs, motions, and reports. Rare is the young attorney who can identify client needs and discuss solutions. In most areas of practice, clients do not simply walk in the door. Rather, they are attracted. If you are the person who is attracting them, you are valuable.

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    1. ^Still bitter about not making law review

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    2. ^Still bitter about not making equity partner

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    3. Boyd '13 grads have nothing to be bitter about

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    4. "I came to law school to learn and love the law, not to write a magazine." Paraphrase of Judge Learned Hand. Also quoted buy most law students at all schools who did not make law review.

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    5. Except for baby lawyers looking for grinding associate jobs, LOL at the idea that Law Review matters. What a crock of horse shit.

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    6. Good writing and argumentation skills are a must, as well. Not just anyone can write good briefs. Crappy briefs and oral argument can lose you cases you should win, or at least reduce the value of your client's suit for settlement purposes on appeal. Then you lose clients when they see you're just a smooth talker who sucks at law.

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    7. I think the point made by the above is it depends on the type of of law you are practicing and the type of firm. Larger firms that are not doing family law, PI or BK mill work will not expect a first year to bring in much, if any, business. They will want you to work hard to learn how to be a lawyer.

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  2. The biggest thing you can do as a first or second year is try to figure shit out on your own. Asking too many questions can come off as not being able to understand the work or, more importantly, can come off as if you are too lazy to read the fucking file and so you want your supervising attorney to do the heavy lifting for you like your parents did in high school. If you fail, at least you've shown the initiative to tackle an issue without handholding. That will move you to the head of the class quicker than anything. You retaining clients? You don't even know what you're doing yet, figure that out before you think you can generate new revenue.

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    1. Work hard. Go the extra mile. Be available. You can start slacking off around year 5-6, until you make partner. Then you're at the low end of totem pole again.

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    2. I would rather that a first year ask questions than screw up something that I have to redo shortly before a deadline. When you're a first year, you don't know what you don't know. Also, pay attention to how the person you're doing work for likes to do things - even little details like formatting writing/documents.

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  3. NEW STATE BAR WEBSITE!!! http://www.nvbar.org/

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    1. They never mastered the old one. Why would this new design (which looks far more Spartan) be any better?

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    2. Maybe they'll have better luck with this one. I heard the last website company went out of business.

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    3. They need to bust out some Angular 2 w/ Twitter Bootstrap.

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  4. Look out for number one...that's you. Get out there to meet others in the legal community. Last night was a Happy Hour/fundraiser put on by the Clark County Law Foundation. It was a nice social event. If you were there, you could have easily met and conversed with 15 to 20 members of the Las Vegas legal community.
    The next such event might be: https://www.clarkcountybar.org/events/special-events/#MYJMixer
    If you only attend one CCBA event this year, it should be the Meet Your Judges Mixer. Creating relationships outside one's firm in one of the best things any new attorney can do. Some of these new relationships often become valuable over time and you just might learn a few things from some knowledgeable, experienced and nice people in the legal community.

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  5. Don't be a typical millennial and act entitled. Also, learn how to accept criticism and be a team player. These things will get you very far in life.

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