Young Lawyers

Tips for Developing Self-Confidence So You Can Flourish

By Dena Lefkowitz |

Last month, I wrote about the rising recognition of emotional intelligence as a key factor in successful leadership using the new movie "Inside Out" to illustrate points about anger and self-management. Now, I turn to "The Sound of Music" for an assist in addressing another competency of emotional intelligence: self-confidence. In the movie, young novice Maria tentatively begins her journey to be governess to seven children. She has no experience and is forced to leave everything she knows. In the song "I Have Confidence," Maria sets her intention for how to handle the new situation, telling herself that she will stop self-doubting, be firm but kind, face her mistakes, and earn respect, adding that, "While I show them I'll show me." The "me" part is key. In this way, Maria employs positive self-talk to overcome her lack of courage, acknowledging that the most critical person in the self-assurance equation is herself. So when she later encounters obstacles—the heavy gates of the mansion she must physically push open, coldness of staff members, pranks played on her by the children and her seemingly cruel new boss—she need only look within for confidence.

Transitioning From Being a Summer to an Associate

By Jamie R. Schumacher |

Transitioning from your position as a summer clerk, summer associate or intern into a position as an associate may seem daunting, exciting, seamless, overwhelming or a combination of all of the above. No matter your emotional state, take comfort in the fact that it is completely normal. Remember, you already have a leg up after spending a summer or two with a firm. Despite this comfort from familiarity, there are five key differences to consider.

Combat the Summer Slump by Finding a Way to Vacation

By Michael J. Joyce |

For so many years during childhood, and even through college as well, summer was a time to relax, unwind and enjoy the sunny weather. During grade school, it was a time to enjoy day camp kickball games and pool trips; during high school a chance to stay out late with friends and artificially delay the next school year as long as possible; during college it was an opportunity to catch up with friends who spent the school year in a different locality; and in law school it was a chance to finally shed the weight of the constant study schedule and regain some level of normalcy. Even with summer jobs and other responsibilities, summer formerly had a defined beginning and end dictated by school schedules.

Group of happy business people in a meeting at office

Life After Law School: Sizing Up Your Career Options

By Jeff Stacko |

As the days of summer go by and we are just after the end of July, most recent law school graduates are absorbed in their bar prep materials, preparing for what will likely be the biggest milestone of their young legal careers: taking the bar exam. Once the exam is complete, most are ready to unwind with a week or two of well-deserved relaxation, thinking only passingly about the results.

How to Harness Emotional Intelligence to Ensure Success

By Dena Lefkowitz |

The new animated movie "Inside Out" takes the audience inside the brain of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, where her responses to situations are governed by five emotions personified. They are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, and they vie for command of the internal control center to influence Riley's behavior. When her family moves to San Francisco from Minnesota, where she was a happy part of a community, hockey team and circle of friends, Joy and Sadness get lost. Difficulties with the move ensue and all of the developments are seen through the lens of Fear, Anger and Disgust. Riley behaves accordingly, to the consternation of her parents, who are used to seeing their daughter with Joy primarily at the helm. They don't understand or know how to respond to her new attitude.


How to Start Out Successfully on Your First Day of Work

By Justin J. Koterba |

The first day at your new job can be an anxiety-provoking yet exciting time, and the first few years of your legal career can be some of the most important of your professional life. You will gain experience in several areas of the law, hoping to find your calling and specialize in a practice. You will develop business relationships with colleagues, clients and other leaders that you will (hopefully) maintain throughout your career. You will work long hours. You will finally get to make money. And, of course, while you are learning the practice of law, you will be judged by your superiors to see if you have the skills that make a successful attorney. This article offers practical advice on what to expect and how to have a successful start to your career now that you have found your first job.

handshake over coffee

Providing Origination Credit Incentivizes Future Rainmakers

By The YL Editorial Board |

Law firm compensation has been and will remain a hot topic in the legal community. Prior to 1987, when Legal affiliate The American Lawyer began ranking the nation's largest law firms, figures such as gross firm revenue, revenue per lawyer, profits per equity partner and associate starting salaries may have been less likely to influence a young lawyer or law student's career decisions. Although many young lawyers now pay particular attention to the aforementioned metrics, many are still in the dark when it comes to how they will be compensated when their business development efforts bear fruit.

Cultivate Optimism to Grow Your Practice and Your Life

By Dena Lefkowitz |

Are you a natural optimist? When adversity strikes, do you tell yourself it's temporary and not your fault and consider all of the things in your life that are going well despite the one setback? Or do you chalk it up to inherent personal failings and give up? Evidence shows that if you tend to the former, you have a greater chance at being happier and more successful in business. If you tend toward the latter, it's not too late to change that habit.

Research and Writing Will Help You Beyond Law School

By Regina Nelson |

Aspiring lawyers are often reminded of the importance of legal writing along with the knowledge that a good legal writing grade can help your potential job prospects. Yet once a young lawyer enters the workforce, there may not be an opportunity to write for a while, or at least nothing beyond research memoranda.

vote sign

Political Involvement Is Worth the Effort for Young Lawyers

By Robert J. "B.J." Clark |

A familiar refrain during election season is criticism from the media and the public about political campaigns and the process of electing candidates to office. It is true that campaigns are often imperfect, impolite and distorted representations of the candidates running for office and the public policy issues they face. Many people are rightfully disillusioned with the state of political campaigns and our public discourse. In the recent Philadelphia mayoral primary, only 27 percent of the registered voters in the city voted. The level of political participation is abysmal and irritation with the political process plays a part in that.