Practice Development Counsel

Phyllis weiss haserot
Phyllis weiss haserot

President & Founder

212 593-1549

E-Tips: Multi-Generational Solutions Archives

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12 Tips that Young Professionals Might Get from a Coach

  • Take some time (regardless of billing pressures) to get out of the office and make new contacts Keep in touch with your classmates and other contacts. Otherwise, when you are coming up for partner or principal and are expected to show potential for generating business, you won’t know anyone!
  • Discipline yourself to set up a contact management system and be conscientious about follow up.
  • Learn about your personal (behavioral) style and how to use your style strengths in relationship building both inside the office and outside with clients and possible referral sources.
  • Learn to “read” other people’s styles so that you can build better and quicker rapport.
  • Spend time on your “internal marketing” so that people in your firm will know your capabilities and come to trust and rely on you for assignments and, eventually, cross-selling.
  • Find someone in the firm, even if there is no formal mentoring program, who you can be comfortable asking “how things work here” and about “unwritten rules.”
  • Ask, relating to each assignment as well as big picture career development, what expectations are. (Senior lawyers often are not accustomed to spelling out expectations unless asked.) Explain how knowing expectations makes you more efficient and productive.
  • Ask – nicely – for feedback periodically and when you need it. Don't expect senior lawyers to automatically give feedback frequently. You need to ask and explain how feedback will make you more productive than the “sink or swim” method of training.
  • Learn to see each situation from other people’s perspective. Think about how you can make senior lawyers more successful and your clients more successful. Then they will find you valuable to keep around.
  • Learn to explain what you do as a benefit to people – not a set of technical skills or areas of practice. Summarize this in your marketing statement or “elevator speech.”
  • Ask for training – and make sure you attend. Focus on your professional development and keep learning.
  • Learn about the economics of a law firm and how clients view their outside counsel. This is crucial for understanding the context of the environment you operate in and how your expectations and demands are viewed.

A good coach, whether internal or external, who understands your organization can help with all of the above.


© Phyllis Weiss Haserot, Practice Development Counsel, 2005