So you want to become a successful lawyer- that’s a wonderful goal. The personal and financial rewards of becoming an attorney can be very great. There’s a reason that so many people are applying to law school and to legal jobs! But with that popularity comes quite a bit of competition. Succeeding in law will take more than just a desire to be a great lawyer — it will take hard work, dedication, and few smart strategies. Read on to learn more about what it takes to make it in law.
Treat law school like a job
Your journey toward success in law starts in school. You’ll work very hard to get into law school, and even harder to graduate. But it’s not just about putting in the effort — it’s also about attitude and commitment.
Your best bet is to treat law school like a job. In college, you might have been able to succeed by skipping classes, reading material on your own, and acing tests. But if you commit to showing up every day in law school as if it were a paying gig that you could get fired from, then you’ll be more successful and will make a better impression on your professors — who will one day be your peers among attorneys and, quite possibly, members of your professional network.
Master your networking skills
Your professors may one day be important professional contacts for you, and they are not alone in this regard. As an attorney, you will be much better off if you can draw on the resources of a strong professional network. Just as in other careers, like business, networking is vital in law. Your professional contacts could be the source of your next job — or maybe you’ll hire one of them!
Find your focus and grow your expertise
Lawyers specialize, of course: Some become personal injury attorneys, others become public defenders, and still others become corporate attorneys. One of the keys to finding success in law is to find your passion, choose a relevant area of expertise, and throw yourself wholeheartedly into it. This doesn’t mean that you can never shift gears or change your focus, particularly early on, but it does mean that your goal when doing so should be to find the thing that you can do for the rest of your life — and then push as hard as you can to learn as much as possible and become one of the best in your field.
Clients can find their attorneys in all sorts of ways, but some are more common than others. Particularly in areas like personal injury law, it’s crucial to have your name out there. Good marketing, including physical marketing and digital marketing, is something that most types of lawyers should be investing heavily in.
We mentioned digital marketing — what is that? As you might imagine, it involved web banner ads and other online advertisements, but that’s not all that the term covers. Digital marketing also includes things like targeted ads, email newsletters, and — most important of all —SEO. SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization,” is the process of making your web presence as appealing as possible to search engines like Google and Bing. Customers who search for your legal specialty should see you high on the search engine results page (or “SERP,” in SEO lingo) — and if they don’t, you could very well miss out on their business.
You don’t have to handle marketing on your own, of course. You’re a lawyer, not an advertising pro! Just hire a team that specializes in attorney marketing, and let them take care of things for you. Make sure that you’re covering all of your bases, from billboards to SEO.