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Earning respect as a new lawyer

Start your law career on the right foot

respect as a new lawyerNew law school graduates often face obstacles when starting their law careers, whether they join big firms or launch an independent practice. A good first impression starts with you and spreads to your clients and peers.

  • Work for it. Instead of waiting for everyone else to do the work for you, do it yourself.  Show your intelligence and problem-solving skills, but don’t rub it in.
  • Dress to impress. Wear professional attire and err on the side of more traditional or formal cuts.
  • Be assertive. You can show kindness without being a doormat.  Learn to say no, learn to speak up, and learn to take criticism. Being assertive also means taking responsibility when things go wrong, not throwing blame at others.
  • Show confidence. Nothing earns respect like confidence. Speak in a positive, calm and firm manner. Exude confidence in speech and body language with eye contact, a serious voice and a perfect posture. On the flip side, overconfidence is counterproductive. Peers and clients view overconfidence as cocky and arrogant, so strive for a balance of confidence tempered with humility.
  • Draw the line between being a leader and being a team player. Different situations call for each approach, and savvy professionals understand the difference. Know when to speak up and when to listen. Observe and listen to both sides of every story before responding.
  • Separate professional and personal business. From e-mail messages to office parties, stay professional at work at all times. Don’t bring your personal struggles to work.

As you build your new law business, trust yourself and your skills. Expect respect and you will earn it.

For more information on building your independent law practice in Denver, contact us