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Managing Your Law Career From the Start

October 20, 2014

Make the most of your first year in practice by setting goals, improving your networking skills, and using the latest technology to increase your efficiency and strengthen your career.

Early in your first year, you will encounter a steep learning curve as you adjust to your practice area and become a team member on a variety of projects. While your day-to-day work necessarily relates to the task at hand, you should continually think about your long-term career goals and take proactive steps each day to achieve them. The New York Law Journal offers tips on how to set goals, network and use technology to make your practice more efficient.

First, create a list of professional goals. Goal-setting will give you sense of direction and will focus your efforts. Seeking and completing great work should be one of your primary goals.  No matter how trivial the project may seem, if you handle your tasks well, you will earn the trust of the assigning attorney and will position yourself for more interesting assignments going forward.  Ideally, you will gain a valuable mentor, as well.

Second, seek time to build relationships. Embrace opportunities to get to know partners, meet clients, and connect with professionals in the legal industry. Your presence will be noticed.

Finally, use applications such as Twitter, Pocket, and Flipboard to stay abreast of trends and developments in the industry and, in particular, in your practice area. These applications will enable you to receive news updates and flag articles for future reference or reading.