Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Attorney Survival Skills

After reading column on Rainmaking, I thought about qualities that long-term lawyers who are not rainmakers possess. What I mean is a Lawyer who has stayed in this industry, going firm to firm, as a staff attorney, associate, or non-asset partner making a living via this career. With the legal market as saturated, as it is; what qualities do we see that can help us survive the short time we are in this industry:
a) Flexibility: The ability to change specialty. The ability to go from Associate to Doc Reviewer and not cry. The ability not to take this field too seriously.

b) Assertiveness: The ability to push! The ability to ask for what you are worth. Trying to undersell yourself leaves you with a perception of having a “low value” in employer’s eyes.

c) Tenacity: Constant fight to get what you need and want.

d) Optimism: This is tricky! To paraphrase Admiral SCOWCROFT: The POWs who were Optimists were weeded out fast. Unbridled Optimists hope, continue hoping, and furventively believe the best will happen sometimes against all reason. When the worst happens, they are let down; it’s like being hit by an anvil. An unbridled optimism can not deal with the fact things don’t always work.

e) Intelligence (Brains + Common Sense): If you don’t get it; get it.

f) Distancing Ability: The ability to step back and see the situation as if you are not a part of it.

g) Group Conscience: The ability to see what the group sees as true, apart from what the reality is.

h) Go with the flow Assimilation: (enough said).

i) Finding Meaning in Life: There is life outside of work.

j) Courage: The ability to get up every morning and do it all again.

Yours Etc