Career advice for young lawyers set on partnership

July 2, 2012 Young lawyers face different career prospects to to what they might have imagined during law school, with growth slowed and opportunities for promotion to partnership diminishing. This article looks at the ways in which young lawyers can do well, despite all the glum news.

The first piece of advice given is that lawyers should understand their firm, focussing on strategic priorities for business development and enhancing networking skills to create strong client relationships. Lawyers that are able to read broad market trends as well as specific firm ambitions are likely to do well despite wider difficulties.

In the UK the introduction of the Legal Services Act of 2007, which liberalises the market for legal services in England and Wales, has reduced opportunities for those with low level legal skills and limited training as firms outsource large volume work. But the changes also present an opportunity for lawyers to hand off administrative and drudge work in favour of a more challenging and stimulating workload. In this context, it is important that lawyers specialise and learn how to use their knowledge competitively.

Finally, the article counsels that lawyers wanting to make partner will need a ‘unique selling point’ - a way of standing out from their peers in an increasingly competitive market.

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