Congratulations! You now have your JD, have been admitted to the bar, and got the associate position of your dreams. Now it is time to grind and get the work done. Many new associates feel overwhelmed about this big step. For many new associates, this is the start of life for them as a young professional. This time is focused around the transition from student to attorney. Hopefully, the following tips will help with a smooth transition.
Here are four tips to help you get through your first year as an associate:
1. Focus on becoming a good lawyer
To be a great lawyer you must be a strong writer, critical thinker, take ownership over projects, and manage people well. A good lawyer also has a mind to continue learning and improving themselves to better serve their clients through continuing education courses and professional development seminars. Try not to fixate on firm prestige, salaries, and bonuses. This is a major flaw in new associates that should not be at the top of your list when trying to become the best lawyer you can be. Your main priority should be honing your skills and finding mentors and sponsors who can help you become the best lawyer possible.
2. Learn to differentiate between projection and advice from others
Make sure to differentiate between the two and to know when someone is projecting or just giving you advice. Try to approach every situation with your own fresh perspective. Your interpersonal skills, energy, and experience can bring about a different outcome.
3. Embrace constructive criticism
Criticism can be hard to hear, especially for anyone who strives for perfection. You are now a new associate and will receive constructive criticism for your betterment. Know this and embrace it, it will only help you in the long run. Though it will be hard to keep in mind that constructive criticism is generally not about your work ethic or intelligence, it is very important that you analyze every comment to help make you the best lawyer you can be.
4. Be kind to yourself
Remind yourself of all your accomplishments to date: You thrived in college, applied to law school, weathered through the storm, and now you have new challenges to face. Your past performance is a good indication that you will be just fine. Make sure to have fun and schedule a time for yourself each week to do something meaningful and just for you to help calm your nerves from the hustle and bustle of the first year.
If you would like a FREE consultation about a case, please contact Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys for help today.