Having spent the best part of 3 to 5 years in college learning law, you may feel the need to be an expert when you enter the industry and begin practising. However daunting it may be, it should be known that, like any job, you will be trained and given time to settle in and learn before being expected to action everything and be able to find a solution to all the challenges you face, immediately.
As mentioned, it is a big step when entering the workforce as a full time employee for the first time so here are a few things to keep in mind that should help make the transition easier and also allow you to get the most out of your early days as a lawyer.
- You are not expected to know everything
You may feel as though you need to implement everything that you have learnt at university the moment you enter a law firm. However, this isn’t the case and in most cases the knowledge required to practice law in the real world is far more extensive that what you have done at university.
Be realistic about your expectations and don’t get down on yourself if you don’t know the answer to something. Come prepared and be willing to learn quickly and you will be able to benefit from those around you.
- Be yourself
As mentioned, it can be a daunting task entering the full time workforce for the first time and there can be temptations to act as though you feel you should. However, it is important that you remain true to yourself. You don’t need to be like everyone else and whilst it is good to look up to those who have been successful in the industry, there is no need to emulate everything they do.
- Courtesy, professionalism and respect
These are the three most important things when working in the industry, especially when you are starting out. You want to appear eager to learn but you must respect those around you and act professionally. Courtesy is a huge one for clients as you want tp present well and work hard to understand them and their thoughts.
- Back yourself
You will undoubtedly be working with and against more experienced lawyers and it can sometimes become a little nerve-wracking. The important thing is that as long as you do your research and ask lots of questions (to those you are working with) you will eventually learn all of the key tricks to the trade. Additionally, it is important to back your own ideas and understand that you will likely provide a new perspective and energy and this is extremely valuable.