Associates — get in the mindset of distinguishing yourself

Four ways to distinguish yourself early in 2014

1. New Years card  -- Did you not send holiday cards to clients?  What about sending a Happy New Year card this week?  Sure, there is a risk that you will be seen as procrastinating but you will also distinguish yourself from the pack, especially if you tailor the card to the recipient with a short note (as opposed to just signing your name).

2. Check in with clients -- Talk to the firm clients for whom you have recently worked and ask how the firm is doing.  Are the clients pleased with the firm's work?  What are the clients' goals (legal and non-legal) for 2014?  How can you (and the firm) help?  Note this call should not be about collecting outstanding receivables.  Also, make sure to obtain approval from the appropriate partner before doing this, and coordinate with the client contact by email first to give that person the heads up (for good times and days for a short phone call).

3. Check in with partners -- Talk to the firm partners for whom you have recently worked and ask how you can help in 2014.  Ask where they see the projects coming from in 2014?  This would be a good time to communicate areas for which you would like to work more and develop expertise.  Consider also checking in with partners for whom you would like to work.

4. Check in with contacts (aka potential clients or referrals) -- Reach out to everyone that sent you a holiday card and update them with what you are doing, successes in 2013, and depending on the contact, possible ways you in which you can be helpful to the contact.

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