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5 Tips for Young Lawyers How to Find Your Way in a Crowded Arena

Young lawyers can face some uphill battles out of law school. The dream of defending the innocent, prosecuting the guilty or triumphing for the little guy is quickly overshadowed by the crowded practice of law. Recent articles such as Huffpost’s “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Lawyers” and CBS News’s “5 Reasons Not to Get a Law Degree” don’t help the cause. They point out the high cost of law school, low number of jobs and high level of unemployment. According to the State Bar of California, there are currently 191,334 actively practicing law in the state. That is a lot of competition for one area. So, now that you have graduated law school and passed arguably one of the hardest bar exams in the nation, what do you do when faced with these seemingly insurmountable obstacles?

Easy, you buckle down, dig in your heels and fight to be the best damn lawyer you can. You take everything that you learned inside and outside of law school and apply it to becoming an irreplaceable member at your firm. You learn to network and, deep breath, sell yourself. You listen and learn from others who have been there and done that. It may seem like a daunting task, but these tips will help you get there.

  1. Get an Elevator Pitch

An elevator speech is a short sales pitch. In your case, the thing you are selling is you. Generally, your pitch should be around 30 seconds to two minutes. You need to be able to market yourself to other attorneys, potential clients and other networking potentials in a short amount of time. In a crowded field you need to stand out, but not sound disingenuous. Promoting yourself does not have to sound like a used car salesman. Use this technique in every aspect of your life. The ability to sell will help you persuade judges, juries, potential clients and other attorneys to agree with you.

  1. Love What You Do

Enthusiasm goes a long way. It may not be easy right out of law school to practice something you are passionate about. You are likely leaving with a large amount of debt and you have bills to pay. But the quicker you know what you love and start practicing something you are passionate about with clients that you truly care for, the easier it will be to set yourself apart and to sell yourself. Great salespeople know the importance of passion. Find your passion.

  1. Get Invested

Get invested in what you do, the people you work with and the people you work for. Get emotionally involved in every aspect of your work. It will show, and it will pay off. Find a mentor to learn from. Choose someone who truly cares and who is willing to invest in you. You want honest feedback and you need someone to help you overcome challenges and celebrate victories. Find someone who you aspire to be like, but who is also like you. Find someone who has some of the same characteristics and traits that you have, and that will champion you whenever you aren’t around.

"So, now that you have graduated law school and passed arguably one of the hardest bar exams in the nation, what do you do when faced with these seemingly insurmountable obstacles?"
  1. Never Stop Learning

The State Bar requires you to be constantly learning and growing as an attorney, but you need to do more than just the obligatory Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE). You should never stop honing your skills. You should become an expert in your field. Once you have mastered a topic, try to get on a speaking circuit. Speak at local bar associations and conferences. Seek out people who do what you do better and learn from them. After you have been practicing for a few years, go back to the basics and write a few motions. Work on your argument techniques. Attend training classes and webinars. Watch other attorneys. Become the best attorney that you possibly can and people will take notice. People always take notice of the athlete that is first on the field and last to leave.

  1. Consider Your Reputation

No matter who you are or where you work, you should always be networking. Burning bridges will never get you ahead in the field of law. While there are a lot of lawyers, the community is pretty close-knit. You will run into your classmates from law school. You may be opposing counsel, you may attend the same conferences, you may even be competing for the same job. You never want to leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth because word gets around quickly. A bad reputation can ruin even a good attorney. Look at every opportunity as a networking possibility. Be the person that people think of when they want to refer a case or recommend a potential client. Be the person at the firm that is respected, not trashed behind closed doors.

Bill Tilley

Bill Tilley is the Founder & CEO of Amicus Media Group (AMG). AMG brings to the table an unparalleled network of media relationships and services to drive quality cases to law firm partners at the most cost-effective economics possible. Utilizing the power of television, radio, and the web, AMG combines our extensive experience in legal marketing focusing on areas such as Mass Tort, Personal Injury, and Family Law. Amicus Media Group’s range of services span from media buying, media management, performance marketing, campaign financing, and creative production. Learn more by visiting amicusmediagroup.com.

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Filed Under: Featured StoriesPersonal Development

About the Author: Bill Tilley is the Founder & CEO of Amicus Media Group (AMG). AMG brings to the table an unparalleled network of media relationships and services to drive quality cases to law firm partners at the most cost-effective economics possible. Utilizing the power of television, radio, and the web, AMG combines our extensive experience in legal marketing focusing on areas such as Mass Tort, Personal Injury, and Family Law. Amicus Media Group’s range of services span from media buying, media management, performance marketing, campaign financing, and creative production. Learn more by visiting amicusmediagroup.com.

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