June 27, 2015

Being of service (mindset)

This post continues the recent theme of examining the habits of superstar associates.  The habit of being of service is so important it gets its own post.  This habit incorporates other habits previously discussed on this blog including the value of deeply understanding your client’s business, learning to adapt, being vulnerable, and anticipating client needs. What does it mean to have a mindset of being of […]
May 22, 2015

More secrets of exceptional associates

This post is the second summarizing what ten big firm partners think contributed to their success as an associate.  In their view (which LegalJob shares), one’s success as an associate depends on whether they have:   an insatiable thirst for knowledge strong interpersonal communication skills a high level of enthusiasm for their work a partner’s mindset a long-term view willingness to seek and take feedback good […]
May 2, 2015

Enthusiasm

This article on Above the Law by a managing partner confirms the importance of being enthusiastic, one of the keys identified in an earlier post about how to be a superstar associate. The author references a Dale Carnegie drill and notes that everyone wants to be around an enthusiastic person.  He says “[t]hat is the guy who gets the job, who gets the promotion, who gets […]
April 29, 2015

Setting expectations

Associates often underestimate the time it takes to complete a project. The thinking is that they want to encourage the partner to provide more opportunities and they understand that generally the preference is for the assignment to be completed quickly (today) and efficiently (with as small amount of time billed as possible). However, this practice of underestimating the time will not likely lead to the desired […]
April 28, 2015

Secrets of exceptional associates

This post is the first of three summarizing what 10 big firm partners think contributed to their success as an associate. In their view (which LegalJob shares), one’s success as an associate depends on whether they have: (i) an insatiable thirst for knowledge; (ii) strong interpersonal communication skills; (iii) a high level of enthusiasm for their work; (iv) a partner’s mindset; (v) a long term view; […]
March 30, 2015

More secrets of successful business people

This post continues with the concepts from 10 Simple Secrets of the World’s Greatest Business Communicators (herein “10 secrets”). As mentioned in the first post, this book for business leaders seeking to become more effective presenters can just as easily apply to lawyers seeking to become more effective at the business of practicing law. Below is a discussion of three more secrets and their application in […]
March 14, 2015

Secrets of successful business people

LegalJob recently came across a book ostensibly for business leaders seeking to become more effective presenters but the material can just as easily apply to lawyers seeking to become more effective at the business of practicing law. The book is 10 Simple Secrets of the World’s Greatest Business Communicators (herein “10 secrets”). This post discusses the first three simple secrets and explains how they can apply […]
December 29, 2014

Associates — here are five ways to get a head start on 2015

This time of year provides a great opportunity to get a head start on 2015.   Consider taking these five steps: 1. Develop your relationship with a mentor.  Do you have a helpful mentor with whom you work well?  If not, perhaps now is a good time to consider possible candidates and reach out to them.  If you have a mentor, consider reaching out to him […]
October 31, 2014

Effective communication with partners

LegalJob was recently asked whether it is appropriate to ask a partner for an explanation for some of his decisions regarding how much of his billable time was written off or discounted. This is a thoughtful question and the advice ties together at least three of the best practices discussed in Making Partner:   having a partner mind-set being firm/partner/client centric, and making others look good. […]
October 24, 2014

Keys to associate success — part two

This post is the second of a two-part series providing practical tips for becoming a rising star.  Below are some suggestions for:  (i) taking ownership, (ii) using a soft and measured approach and tone, and (iii) managing time effectively.  These principles are discussed in further detail in Making Partner. 1. Taking ownership. a.)  Demonstrate with your words that you believe each issue is indeed your problem as opposed to […]
October 18, 2014

Keys to associate success — part one

This post is the first of a two-part series providing practical tips for becoming a rising star. Two important steps in this order are to: (i) understand what is expected; and (ii) provide a thoughtful recommendation (after performing the research and analysis required).  Both of these principles are discussed in further detail in Making Partner. 1. Understand what is expected Understanding expectations is a big part […]
August 16, 2014

Having the long view

LegalJob was asked about what it takes to be a successful attorney.  This post focuses on one important quality that should help toward that pursuit — having the long view mindset.  In other words, do not look for the short-term payoff in the things you do for yourself or for others because it is not likely that there will be one.  For example, you may have […]