To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:
What are the ingredients of a successful legal career? Is there a recipe to follow? A roadmap for professional achievement? Of course not. For lawyers, as for other professionals, success can take many shapes. It is up to you to figure out where you want to go with your legal degree and how you are going to get there.
But there are common elements to virtually every success story: setting goals, working hard, taking responsibility, making connections, asking for help when you need it, and being generous with your own time when others need help.
Attitude is also key. My own experience—practicing law for almost 30 years, on two coasts, and teaching law students for the past five—has convinced me that the most reliable indicators of future success are how much you like what you do, how much you respect your colleagues, and how willing you are to learn something new. If you can find a job that makes you want to get up early and tackle that day’s challenges, take it—even if the pay is a bit lower or the commute a bit longer than you would like. If you have an opportunity to work with talented, dedicated, ethical lawyers who can teach you by example and help you excel, take it—even if they demand a bit more from you, or keep you in the office a bit later, than some else’s boss. And if you get the chance to work on an interesting case or project in a new area of the law (including a volunteer project or pro bono representation), take it—even if you are a bit nervous at the beginning of the learning curve.
NYCLA can help you find these opportunities and meet these challenges. Our Association assists lawyers at all seniority levels to build their careers and write their own success stories. We help our Members expand their professional networks, keep abreast of professional developments, stay competitive, and elevate their professional credibility. As a Member, you benefit from preferred pricing on CLE seminars and webinars; free professional and personal development opportunities; networking events to meet others from the bench and bar; and publications that help you stay on top of emerging trends and legal news. You also get access to a professional library with a wide range of traditional and electronic research materials, staffed by experienced legal research experts. And all of our Members can join NYCLA’s Committees and Sections—with no waiting period—to network with others while expanding their professional expertise.
If you’re looking to expand your legal career and not already a NYCLA Member, I encourage you to join us. Visit nycla.org/joinus to learn more or call 212-267-6646 x208. If you are already a Member, I encourage you to step up your participation in Association events: join a new Committee, volunteer for one of NYCLA’s pro bono programs, or pick up new skills through NYCLA’s CLE offerings. Feel free to tweet me at @nyclapres, or email at email@example.com, and share how you’re developing your own roadmap to success.