After graduating from law school, the next step is to practice what you learned as an attorney. Being new in the field has its own challenges since everyone wants to work with experienced attorneys. You want to stand out and establish your credibility with your clients, colleagues, and investors and are wondering how you can do that. Continue reading this article to find out how you can establish your credibility even if you are new to the industry.
Your fancy title or corporate name will not impress your client. You are better off presenting yourself as an individual rather than a law firm representative. Be honest and tell the client what you bring to the table. Tell the client your strengths and weaknesses and your experience. If you are newly admitted to the bar but worked in a law firm before, mention this to the client. Once they sense your honesty and get a perception of you, they will want to work with you. If they sense your dishonesty, they will take their business to another firm.
Right now, your work speaks for you. Most of the clients you will get are through referrals. You are only as good as the work you produce. If your work is good, you will get more clients. You can demonstrate your work by being competent and knowledgeable.
When working with a client, ensure you understand your client’s needs. Do your research and cite relevant law. By doing your best work, you will gain respect and trust from your clients.
There is a common myth that attorneys are arrogant. While some fall in this category, you should be an exception. Be approachable and treat your clients with respect. Respond to their calls and messages and put their needs first. Show the client that you appreciate the work they have trusted you with. If you cannot help them, refer them to an attorney who can assist them. These simple things will give clients a good impression of you and they will refer other clients to you.
You can walk far when you walk alone but you walk far when you walk with others. This applies to your career. You need to network and build relationships with other attorneys. You can network by attending business functions and bar associations, volunteer and offer legal aid or work in a pro bono clinic and keep contact with your colleagues.
Networking will give you a chance to learn what other attorneys are doing. You can also get advice on mistakes to avoid. It takes years to gain experience and you are bound to make some mistakes along the way. Having a mentor can be beneficial since you will learn ways you can improve and gain credibility. Being under an experienced attorney also boosts your credibility especially is the attorney has a good reputation.
You do not have to be on the defensive at all times. It’s an occupational hazard for attorneys to argue at the slightest chance but you need to change. Spend more time listening and learning. That way, you can improve your skills and it will also make you wiser. When a client comes to you, your first reactions should be to listen, and then you can ask questions if you need anything clarified. After that, you can give your response.
The way people do business is changing and you need to evolve with it. You need to incorporate technology in your business. It will make things easier for you and your work can become more efficient. Instead of having paper files, you can have online copies to minimize on space. Instead of taking notes, you can record and have it transcribed later. Also having a website makes you appear more professional and you can offer consultation services remotely or in person. Technology will continue evolving and adapting will put you ahead of the competition.
As an attorney, your credibility determines how successful your career will be. By following these tips, you will gain appreciation from your clients and will be respected among your colleagues. This will translate to more clients getting referred to you.