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Lose Inhibitions and Preconceptions if You Want to Succeed

published September 18, 2012

By Harrison Barnes, CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 7 votes, average: 4.3 out of 5)
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Lose your inhibitions to have a successful law career
Everyone is culturally conditioned, as are you. The day you took your decision to become a law student, it was because your cultural conditioning told you something about being a lawyer. You had an idea in your mind about the prototype of a lawyer, about success, about parties, about hard work, about learned discourses, about justice, about helping people, and about making money. The part about work experience, actually comes only with work experience, for it is difficult to understand without undergoing the process.

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You knew you had to work, and have to work. That is elementary, but may be, you never suspected how hard finding that work would be, leave alone actually doing the work – you get that opportunity only after you find work. So, it is time to shed all your inhibitions and preconceptions, forget about campus interviews and summer associate jobs at the best law firms, and realize it's time to step out from the sheltered precincts of law school and go out and seek work without any fear of refusal or reprisal.

Refusal is not going to get you down, but it is going to get your face known. Unless, the refusal is due to your behavior, all other factors, including background can be managed with time – for nothing succeeds like success. But to find success today, even if you are the best of the best, you got to go out and seek work – because the best law firms, are perfectly satisfied with who they have and not seeking more. That's the truth of the Great Recovery.

What to do when you don't have any associate work during vacations

If you haven't managed a summer associate job, you are not alone. The big question is whether you are going to put your time to good use, or squander it. There are many things you can do within your vacation that would increase your future prospects including:
 
  • Attending public speaking courses
  • Attending the local bar for a time every day, usually during late hours if you are seeking connections, and morning hours if you are seeking to learn the art of submissions
  • Joining local nonprofit organizations that may or may not have legal work, but has the possibility to yield mentors
  • Keeping touch with your professor with regularity, don't press things too much, the law schools and law professors are very, very hard pressed at the moment
  • Not wasting time by doing meaningless work including helping in the next academic publication of someone who wants to be somebody – I mean that would not be wrong in every situation, but what I want to insist is that you must get real and go after acquiring real skills and connections that could actually play a role in your objectives
  • Not wasting time on internet networks – again use internet networks, but do it objectively and with purpose – every moment you lose making comments and reading them is gone from your life – and you should engage in network discussions only when you find it meaningful, not just because it gives you a scope to express your opinion
  • Learning new languages that can help you relate with clientele – don't expect to become an expert in new languages overnight, but even a grasp would help you to build affinity, or tag up with a partner with a diverse background
  • Attending moot court competitions, clinics, and other opportunities to develop skills
  • Building local social networks and letting people know you are studying to become a lawyer, and how great that is

Never admit the poor scenario to anyone, always keep confident, because you are going to be a lawyer anyway, and no one is going to refer someone who admits being in a losing position. Believe it or not, once you are in the profession, sometimes it would feel that the entire world is divided into just two classes of humans – lawyers and clients. And you wouldn't want anyone to learn that you are not happy with your situation.

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Another thing – lose preconceptions about ‘low types of legal work' that nobody does. Don't be a snob. As long as another lawyer is doing a particular kind of work, it is a skill that needs to be acquired, and knowledge that can be useful to survive.

Also, research the border areas and fringe areas of law practice – the work done by paralegals and staff attorneys – you might be amazed how much you could learn from that, and the kind of useful connections you could build.

Whatever be the case, lose your inhibitions and preconceptions if you want to survive and succeed, and do it fast.

Cheers.

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Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

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