It is no secret that a legal career is one of the most challenging paths available to today’s professionals, and for many attorneys, finding the right way to thrive as a lawyer is an important step in the process of realizing the kind of job satisfaction that truly matters in life. Here are just seven great ways to thrive in your legal arena.
Find Your Strengths
As many experienced lawyers will tell you, a legal career can really take off when an attorney finds an area of practice that is both intellectually stimulating and challenging to them. When developing your skill-set, for example, take a hard look at your genuine strengths as an attorney: Maybe you were born to be a public defender; maybe corporate law has always been your passion.
Whatever you love about practicing law, be sure to cultivate your skills in that area. Too many lawyers waste years of their lives chasing practice areas that they dislike because they feel pressured by family or friends to succeed in a particular niche. If you hate the work you’re currently doing, in other words, you probably won’t enjoy it ten years from now.
Network, Network, Network
In 2020, networking is an essential tool in any legal professional’s career-building apparatus. Whether you’re meeting up with area attorneys for social gatherings or attending interesting conferences, it’s always a good move to look for ways to expand your network.
Don’t Shirk Continuing Education
After the stresses of law school, many attorneys may (quite understandably) wish to never sit in a classroom ever again. However, continuing legal education can help you keep your legal skills sharp and your knowledge of your practice area up-to-date. Those are very desirable traits in attorneys.
Stay in Touch With Law School Classmates
For most lawyers, the years that follow graduation from law school are an exciting time in which new connections are formed and new skills are accrued. But there is something deeply important about staying in touch with classmates; often, former classmates will understand your career struggles more than anyone else. (They’re probably going through the exact same struggles to some degree.)
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Big Goals
When the going gets rough, attorneys should not lose track of their biggest goals in life. Maybe it’s the dream of owning your own practice or the prospect of presenting a case before the Supreme Court one day. Whatever your big goals are in life, be sure to let your dreams inform your decision-making process as an attorney. Without a passion for the work, a life in law can be extremely draining. With passion, a legal career can become a vocation and a calling.
Know How to Deal With Burnout
Most lawyers will experience burnout at least a few times in the course of their working life. Burnout can make it very difficult to feel excited about daily tasks and it may even make us feel irritable or drained in the workplace. If you’re feeling burned out, it’s important to know when to practice a good self-care routine. Many attorneys find that a regular exercise regimen can serious help in keeping cases of the workplace blues at bay.
Have a Support System in Place
As an attorney, it’s worth regularly asking who you turn to when your work has you feeling down. Lawyers often tasked in dealing with other people’s problems for months or even years at a stretch, and that kind of stress-by-extension can really wear even the most capable attorneys down. Even if it’s just having a favorite pet cat or dog to spend time with at the end of a long day, knowing that someone has your back can make all the difference in a legal career.