SUZY, a young associate at a large law firm, is having trouble being heard at meetings.
Suzy shares, “I’m so frustrated! Every time I go to a team meeting and contribute my ideas, everyone ignores me! Then five minutes later, one of the other associates says exactly the same thing and the partner says, “That’s a great idea! Why don’t you take it and run with it?!” It’s so annoying!”
What Suzy is experiencing is a common problem for many young attorneys. Sometimes, it seems that nobody is listening to you; and then someone else, maybe someone with a louder voice, seems to take your idea and get all the credit. There are several ways to reverse this trend and get credit for your ideas. We can work together to help you “get the floor” and express yourself effectively so that everyone hears your point. Learn more about Finding Your Voice…
“I’ve got so much to do and it’s all due tomorrow!”
LOUIS is an ambitious young attorney who has received several urgent assignments.
Louis says, “I know I’m doing really well at the firm because four different partners have given me urgent assignments. But they’re all due the same day! How am I going to get all of them done on time without staying up for 104 hours straight? What if I’m late? What if I can’t finish? I’m screwed!”
Louis is a victim of his own success! The partners love him, he’s getting lots of assignments and everyone wants him on their team. But we all have limits to our time and our ability to get the work done efficiently and effectively. We want to do a good job, but sometimes we just have to say “no”! There are ways of managing your projects by breaking them down into do-able steps so you can get them done and done well. We can work together on getting assignments done, how to say no when you need to, how to ask for help in accomplishing your work and how to find someone to whom you can delegate tasks so you demonstrate your leadership potential as well. Learn more about Project Management…
“I’m supposed to be networking to drum up clients, but how can I do that if I don’t know anyone except lawyers?”
JOHN, a new lawyer at a mid-size litigation firm, knows that he needs to “network”, but he has no idea exactly what that means.
John tells us, “I don’t get it…Everybody I know tells me I have to ‘network’ so that I can get clients. So I keep going to all these ‘networking events’ to meet people and see if they want to hire my firm. I give out my cards and nobody ever calls me to give me work. I feel like an idiot walking into these things and I just don’t know how to make them work for me…!”
John is expressing a familiar frustration. Yes, it always seems as if there are some lawyers who can walk in and just “work” a room in masterly fashion. They meet everyone, they seem comfortable and they appear to be able to generate business this way. But most of us have incredible difficulty psyching ourselves up to walk into a crowded room of people we’ve never met and feel comfortable! Networking is all about meeting people, not generating immediate business. It means creating a network of acquaintances and friends who will call on each other for help in the future. When you work with me, you will learn how to prepare for networking events, practice meeting people and find the most effective way you can express yourself in order to come across confidently. Learn more about Teamwork and Communication…
“Where do I go from here? What’s the next step in my career?”
JOSEPH is a third-year associate at a small law firm. He feels that he needs some additional experience that he’s not getting at the firm, but he doesn’t know how to get it.
Joseph tells us, “I’m getting so bored! I was lucky to get this job a couple of years ago because the market was so bad. But now I’m just doing the same thing over and over again. I really don’t feel challenged, but I don’t really want to just take any job just to get out of here.”
John’s concerns are shared by many young lawyers these days. The practice of law has changed a lot in recent years. Many young attorneys are simply happy to have found a job; but a couple of years into their careers, they may realize that they would like to learn more, develop more, or do something different. They’re not certain they can grow at their current job or whether they need to move on to achieve their professional goals. Sometimes they don’t know what that “something different” may be. We can work together to identify your strengths and unique skills and identify a path that will take your career to the next level. Learn more about Career Planning…
“Should I be worried? My work is drying up; I have no idea why!”
JANE has a feeling that things are not going well at her firm. But nobody’s telling her anything so she’s afraid she’s going to be let go.
Jane tells us, “I’m pretty upset. I have this feeling that things aren’t going well at my job: the senior partner in my area hasn’t talked to me in two weeks and when I went to the other partner for more work, she told me she doesn’t have anything for me. I’m not sure what to do: are things just slow? Should I start looking for a new job?”
Jane’s concerns may or may not be well founded. Many young lawyers find themselves in Jane’s position: she has a feeling that things aren’t going well, but nobody has given her any specific feedback or made suggestions as to how she can improve. She doesn’t have a mentor who can advise her about what the partners really want. Often, attorneys focus so carefully on their work and clients that they don’t give young lawyers constructive feedback.
In addition, many supervising lawyers are wonderful attorneys, but have never learned how to give constructive feedback or truly manage their new lawyers. One way of learning the ropes is to find an appropriate mentor to help you navigate. Another is to find a supervisor who will give you open, honest and constructive feedback about your performance. We can work together to figure out how you can find such a mentor, how to ask for feedback and, most importantly, how to hear that feedback and use it to be the best attorney you can be. Learn more about getting Performance Feedback…