Summary: There are all kinds of decisions that attorneys make starting with what law school to attend that set their career down a certain path.
To be able to get a position within a Law Firm takes a series of decisions that greatly influence your chances of success. In Harrison Barnes article, “The 18 Most Important Decisions You Make with Your Legal Career,” we learn that even what may seem like minor decisions can have lasting effects on an attorney’s career.
The first big decision you will make that will affect the rest of your legal career is what Law School to attend. There are a lot of schools to choose and there are of course limitations of what schools you can attend based on your credentials. Choose wisely, knowing that attending a no-name school with no accreditations will never allow you to a part of a big successful law firm. Attending a prestigious law school like Harvard or Yale is also no guarantee that you will be successful unless you continue to make good decisions.
The next big decision is regarding how hard you will work in law school. If having a social life and partying your way through school is the route you take, you will not make it through law school into a serious summer associate job which leads into a legitimate job with a law firm. You also have to work hard once you land a summer associate job to be offered a job after the summer.
The geographic area and practice area you aim to work in will also play a role into your chances of getting a job with a major law firm. Working in a large city will put you in contact with more clients and bigger clients. However, big cities also bring less job security because you will always be replaceable in the eyes of a law firm until you make it to the big leagues.
Once you start working in a law firm, the attitude you choose to display will determine if others want to work with you. When no one wants to work with you, your career will not last long. Striving to be a well-liked attorney but maintains authority can be a challenge to master but important to ensuring a successful future.
There are a number of other decisions that you will make on a daily basis that affect your future as an attorney. For the most part, deciding to work hard, not cut corners, and be well-liked by your peers will get you started on the right direction.
To learn more about being a successful attorney, read these articles:
- How Working at Certain Types of Law Firms Affects Your Career
- Going In-house Is Career Suicide for Good Attorneys
- A Career Killer That Attorneys Are Not Told About