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Pretend a legal professional represents a parent corporation that does not have at least 15 employees as required under statute to sue them. When you visit the parent corporation’s web site, it is listed with an excess of 100,000 employees. Had you relied exclusively on this representation, your firm's client would have lost the opportunity to become an indispensable party to a suit. Legal professionals learn to assess others' credibility, reliability, and knowledge, without excuse or self-doubt. They learn how to prevent misplaced loyalty and trust from impairing their integrity, affecting their personal lives, or harming a client's case. To some extent, legal professionals lower their expectations of others; in other words, they take whatever is said with a grain of salt. Just because someone says something that is untrue or misleading does not necessarily mean they intentionally misrepresented the facts. Newfound abilities in your career should spill over into your personal life, thereby enhancing your interpersonal and communication skills and increasing your confidence and conviction of beliefs.
Firms' and Organizational Environments
As in any other profession, legal professionals may expect to encounter employers that foster secretive or territorial environments. Every law firm has its own character and philosophy. Although most attorneys are honest and professional, there are those that prompt numerous derogatory jokes about the profession, comparing attorneys to a variety of cold-blooded creatures. Remember: The legal profession is an adversarial one and generally a win/lose situation.
However, legal professionals should avoid becoming entangled with any firms or organizations that may arouse suspicion that the jokes are well founded. Legal professionals should feel that they fit into an office situation with their integrity intact.
A well-established base of principles upon which to assess employers and govern responses will help you select the right employer, and leave if an employer is not right. Expect to take constructive criticism without argument and deference, especially when learning a new trade. After one year at a firm or organization, as a legal professional you should feel more confident with increased self-respect in your position. If not, you should seek a more appropriate employment match. Becoming a legal professional is an investment that will strengthen your character, resolve, and tenacity.
Starting salaries are higher for entry-level legal professionals than for any other profession that is available without a college degree. Many experienced legal personnel can earn substantial incomes after four years' experience, and after five years' experience, legal professionals can probably gross more than many new attorneys and college graduates, without the educational debt. Many legal professionals can generate very high Incomes if they have the know-how and courage to start their own businesses.
Code of Conduct
Clients hire law firms to protect themselves from others. Attorneys are bound by their own code, which details professional responsibility as sentinels and officers of the judicial system. This code protects the public, instills confidence in the judicial system, and maintains the integrity of the judiciary. All legal professionals should adhere to the code as well as to any other code of conduct applicable to their profession, and expect their employers and employees to do so as well. The legal field embraces those legal professionals who wish to bring honor to the profession. Ethical and honest legal professionals enhance the public’s perception of the judiciary and attorneys. Unfortunately, as in most professions, the bad apples tend to receive more publicity than the good ones. Legal professionals can bring honor to the profession by following the code of conduct for attorneys and acting according to a higher moral standard than the law is able to mandate.
Professionally, you may expect that your performance will be constantly scrutinized by attorneys, clients, fellow staff members, and others. Every day, your performance will be reevaluated and assessed. This means that the work product is expected to be letter-perfect before you submit it to supervisors or others. Letter-perfect work product is the result, in part, of following directions, good organization, and thorough review of documents-a lost or missed piece of paper can cost you your job. You should have either a competitive mind-set or be able to deal effectively with competitive people. To constantly measure up to performance standards, you should work hard, avoid gossip, concentrate on multiple paper-intensive tasks, prioritize and manage workloads to reduce stress, and communicate effectively. Through the constant scrutiny legal professionals endure, you may expect your intellectual capabilities to increase, communication skills to improve, and your focus on problem resolution to narrow. These improved abilities will lead to an increase in self-esteem and confidence along with enhanced cognitive abilities.
Overall, you may expect a legal career to provide you with the opportunities to help people in crisis situations; meet many intelligent, eccentric, or fascinating people; increase cognitive abilities; and develop tenacity, resolve, and integrity. But be aware that you should expect to hurdle the obstacles in front of these growth opportunities.
Be prepared to handle stress from heavy workloads and difficult people by developing nerves of steel, patience, perseverance, diligence, organization, and effective conflict resolution and communication skills.
Prepare yourself intellectually and mentally as thoroughly as possible for your career in law.
Adhere to the attorney's code of professional responsibility and that of your particular professional area.
Legal professionals, on the average, earn more than other professionals who work without a college degree.
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.
Hi, I’m Harrison Barnes. I’m serious about improving Lawyers’ legal careers. My only question is, will it be yours?
About Harrison Barnes
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 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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