The following guest post is written by a senior partner at a top AmLaw 100 firm.

The master blogger asked for opinions on how to impress partners (or senior lawyers anywhere).  After 20 years in the business, I have identified two fairly basic traits that seem to separate the rising stars from those who aren’t rising. 

They are:

  • Fulfill commitments.  In other words, do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. 
  • Attention to detail.  Proofread and check everything. 

It comes down to convincing the senior lawyer that you and your work can be trusted.  If I know that you will give me a polished piece of work when I expect it, I will keep knocking on your door to do more.  If not, you cannot be a dependable member of my team and I have to worry that I won’t be able to deliver what I have promised to the client or the court. 

This may sound basic, but an amazingly large number of young lawyers fall down in these two areas.  Virtually anyone can develop these two traits and if you do, you will soon be recognized as a rising star.