By Jeffrey S. Kravitz, Esquire
I was recently solicited by my law school to give advice to young lawyers and the mistakes they should not make. Much of what I supplied would be equally applicable to young athletes (maybe RGIII and Andrew Luck excepted).
1. “Do not confuse niceness with softness.” Just because the boss or your colleagues are lovely, friendly people, do not make the mistake of thinking that they do not demand the highest quality of work or professional services from you.
2. Understand where you are on the pecking order. Your firm may be egalitarian, but that does not mean that you can say that you would rather not go to the 8:30 status conference in Lompoc because you have your child's Christmas play.
3. Dress for success. Understand that even if your firm has a casual policy, you want to be the adult in the group.
4. Be nice to everyone. You do not want to be known as the newbie who kisses up and kicks down.
5. Do not kid yourself that you work better under pressure. Even if you do, your boss will not work better under pressure you put her through.
6. Timeliness. While you may be a late morning person, your clients will not be. No one will care if you are working until 10 at night if your client calls at nine in the morning and you are still in the shower.
7. Value. Give more than your salary demands. You are working to develop your skills as well as to meet the needs of your clients. Take the extra few minutes to check the books instead of assuming, even if that time cannot be passed on to the clients.
8. Work. During your first few years, you really cannot work "too hard." This is a learn by doing profession, and unless you are being asked to perform the same benighted labor over and over again, you will gain wisdom and experience from the time spent.