Whether you’re fresh out of law school or have years of industry experience there’s something about being new to a firm that can rattle your nerves and your confidence.
Every firm is different. Being the new guy or gal in the office can be tough. Adapting to a new firm culture, learning new processes and interacting with new personalities can be challenging. Here are some tips that will help you both fit in and stand out.
Learn the firm culture. Hopefully you’ve already gained quite a bit of insight into the firm culture before accepting your new position. Learning more about the firm culture, core values and policies of the firm will help you become more comfortable in your role. The more you immerse yourself in the firm culture the more effective you’ll be.
Be Tech Savvy. Millennial lawyers often have the advantage of being tech savvy. Educating yourself and becoming proficient in the latest technology will not only help you be more efficient, but make you an even greater asset to your firm.
Never stop learning. There’s always more to learn. Seek opportunities to learn from and with your fellow attorneys. It’s a good idea to find someone who can be a mentor. Mentor-Mentee relationships are very valuable in law firms because it not only helps the morale of the office, but has a risk management function as well. Having a mentor will help you avoid making the mistakes your mentor made upon entering the firm. Take advantage of seminars and webinars. When others see your dedication to your professional development they will take an interest as well. Take advantage of the free CLE Lawyers Mutual offers to insureds.
Get Involved. It’s important that you become active in not only the legal community, but take an interest in serving your community as a whole. The NCBA, your local bar associations and the myriad of non-profits seeking volunteers are great places to start. Being active in the community is rewarding and gives you an opportunity to network.
Ask Questions. Always remember no one expects you to have it all figured out. Don’t risk making a huge mistake that can be avoided by simply asking a few questions. You’re a part of a team and your fellow attorneys want to see you win.
Be approachable. This sounds simple enough, but many people don’t think about the importance of being approachable. Be mindful of simple things such as your body language or having an open office door. A simple “good morning” or “how are you?” will go a long way.
Build Your Personal Brand. One thing that you’ll carry with you no matter where your career takes you is your personal brand/identity. Recognize your strengths and use them to your advantage. Seek out speaking and writing opportunities that will not only build name recognition for yourself, but your firm as well. You bring something unique to your firm, once you find your niche it will be easier to “find your fit” within the firm.
Our lending library is full of great resources that will help you with your professional development. Here are 5 quick picks from our library. Visit our website for more titles.
- “ The Practice: Building truths about lawyers and lawyering” by Brian Tannebaum
- “Personal Branding in One Hour for Lawyers” by Katy Goshtasbi
- “Lessons in Leadership: Essential Skills for Lawyers” by Thomas C. Grella
- “Hot to Work a Room” by Susan Roane
- “Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams” by Kimm Alayne Walton, JD
- "100+ Pointers for New Lawyers on Adjusting to Your Job" by Sharon Meit Abrahams, EdD
Monisha Yowell is the Marketing Coordinator for Lawyers Mutual. Monisha connects Lawyers Mutual with our insureds and the legal community through the use of social media. You can reach Monisha at
800.662.8843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.