You have just graduated from law school and you are ready to kick-start your career as a lawyer. But while it may look like it will be a smooth journey, you still have a long road ahead of you, with plenty of things to learn and experience.
1. Details matter
Although mistakes are inevitable - everyone does them - but you should not make mistakes that you could have avoided. You might not know how to draft a merger agreement, but you definitely know how to spell your client’s name.
2. Book learning is not enough
Young lawyers should really invest in their experience. Since legal practise and law itself keeps on changing, you have to be prepared to keep up with it. Relying heavily on books can become a big disadvantage, as they usually become irrelevant in a few years.
Start building your network as soon as possible. Ultimately the success of you as a lawyer will depend on your relationships. Everyone in your network - from existing friends to new acquaintances - should be viewed as someone who might be a client or source of referrals some day.
4. Company culture
Any company will have its own work culture. You should learn it and stick to it if you truly want to be a good team player. Remember, there is nothing more valuable than a junior attorney who is humble, reliable, and willing to contribute to a team’s success.
5. Keep learning
Learn as much as possible from other law fields. For example, get familiar with all the major rules of the securities law, even if you don’t use them. The more you know from the related fields, the fewer blind spots are left. Consequently, you will make fewer mistakes.