New law graduates are sure to experience moments filled with excitement and triumph, however, young lawyers will also experience a number of challenges and cringe-worthy moments as well. Every experienced lawyer looks back at the beginning of their career with a combination of fondness and embarrassment. Becoming a successful lawyer is a journey, however, there are common obstacles everyone has faced. Here is a bit of advice for young lawyers navigating their new careers.
Seek a mentorship
While some new lawyers may find themselves at a firm that includes a mentorship program, many will not. With that said, it is important for young lawyers to seek a mentor. This person will help you to navigate the industry while creating a personal and professional relationship. While you won’t be able to learn everything from one single person, you will be better equipped to evolve in your position and network in your area.
Don’t stop learning
Congratulations, you’ve completed law school! All of the hard work and sleepless nights have paid off, you’re a lawyer now. However, the learning doesn’t stop. It can be a difficult pill to swallow as the first year or two at a practice can be daunting as a young lawyer. Your schedule is filled and you’re busy trying to keep your head above water. However, learning never stops.
The very best lawyers are those who continue to learn. Whether through coworkers, educational seminars, reading, mentorship, is imperative to continue your education. Law is a sector that continues to grow and evolve, so in order to be the best you must stay up to date on what’s going on.
Ask for help
It’s understandable that asking for help makes many people uncomfortable. No one wants to appear knowledgeable. However, young lawyers must remember that everyone was new in the industry once. Everyone has experienced the challenges and anxieties that come from being a novice.
Never avoid asking questions. If you need help it is always better to ask than to pretend you know something and have it backfire. Bar associations often have practice management advice programs and voluntary groups which are organized around specific practice areas. Interacting with lawyers in your area of practice isn’t only great for networking, but for creating resources for the times when you need help the most.