Holding Your Rung on the Ladder

- Richard Brock

The job and career outlook for the legal field – from paralegals to attorneys – is improving. In fact, more than 90% of summer internships are resulting in job offers. But landing the right position is only the beginning. Connecting with the company culture and building job security while doing the work you love takes dedicated effort. Ensuring that if/when you switch firms or companies it will be because you chose to leave and move forward as opposed to being asked to leave means becoming the one they can’t do without.

In other words:

Work like You are the Owner. Don’t just think law – think economics. Taking the time to understand exactly where your billable hours go (overhead, payroll, benefits, expansion, etc.) can give you a sense of purpose and build your motivation to accomplish your responsibilities efficiently. Make an effort to “know” your firm. What are their hottest areas? Where is their expertise? What practice areas need to be developed?

Understand Management. Take the time to know those over you. What are their goals and objectives – their pet projects? What is their work style? Their communication style and preferences? Find ways to adapt your goals, objectives, and style to theirs without losing who you are.

Set High Personal Standards. Recognize that your work is a reflection of “your firm.” Be willing to go the extra mile – to pick up the work that matters even though it’s not the work that everyone sees. Make reliable and dependable your watchwords. Establish a reputation as the one who gets things done – and done right – by the deadline. Make integrity your middle name.

Find your Niche and become the Expert. Of course, you need to be flexible and open to a variety of responsibilities, but when you discover the practice areas that strike your passion, learn everything you can about them. Read white papers. Attend seminars. Find a mentor who specializes in that area. Be the “go to” attorney for that practice area.

Keep Learning. Don’t limit your ongoing education to your niche. Keep up with legal news and new technologies for the legal field. Take classes, attend seminars/conventions, and participate in online forums and discussions.

Connect and Communicate. Be personable – with owners, management, coworkers, and clients. Know the name behind the face and the person behind the name. Treat everyone with genuine courtesy and respect. Be willing to help coworkers and willing to seek their advice when you need help. Taking the time to build a network of solid relationships pays off.

Does this sound a bit overwhelming? Of course it does, but rarely does anything truly worthwhile come without hard work and dedication.

And Onboard Search and Staffing is here to help. We understand the legal field. We understand great recruiting and how finding the right position in the first place helps smooth the road. Whether you’re seeking contract or permanent work in the legal field, contact us today and let us help you take the next big step on your career path to professional growth and job security.