5 Mistakes Law School Grads Make in their First Jobs
It's that time of year. A time when young men and women say goodbye to grueling law school and enter, in some cases, an equally grueling workforce.
In a matter of months, law firms across the country - and the world - will welcome law school graduates with open arms. They'll be encouraged to hit the ground running, start networking, and a build a book of business.
Unfortunately, though, inexperience and good old-fashion cockiness will cause some first-year associates to make BIG blunders on the job.
Here are five first-time lawyer career mistakes to avoid.
1. Avoiding grunt work.
Law school grads almost always start at the bottom because that's where they learn how a firm works.
First-time lawyers must learn how to write the sort of memo a boss wants to read, how to navigate office personalities, how to simply get things done in an organization. Even if it's not the most glamorous work, first-time associates should pay attention to detail, follow instructions, and care about quality.
2. Not being thorough.
In law school, students are often expected to argue one point of view. At a law firm, associates are expected to consider all options thoroughly and make a recommendation that includes pros and cons.
3. Not seeking out a mentor.
Many powerful rainmakers - young and old - can safely say they owe a good deal of their success to their mentors. If students haven't found one in law school, they should seek one out immediately after graduation.
Instead of spending comfortable lunches with peers, first-time lawyers should try to get to know their older, more experienced colleagues. They have a wealth of knowledge to share and could help a new associate progress faster in the firm.
4. Forgetting to say "thank you."
Courtesy - while sometimes ignored - goes a long way. People who feel appreciated are more likely to go out of their colleagues. They won't, however, if colleagues don't seem to care.
5. Not taking social networking seriously.
It's well known that one wrong post on a social networking site like Facebook can doom a career. New associates must keep their posts professional - always.
Law school graduates should remember that it's not what they do, but how they do their job that's important.
Strive to be the standout associate you set out to be!