find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
My next move: What can I do from a business point of view to help progress my career?

My next move: What can I do from a business point of view to help progress my career?

The reality of practising law can be vastly different to what you may have envisaged when you embarked upon your legal career.

Universities do little to prepare budding young lawyers for the transition from academic study to the ‘business’ of practising law. In today’s world of ever-increasing commercialisation, the practice of law is a business and you are not called a ‘fee earner’ for no reason. The earlier in your career that you gain an understanding of the commercial realities of practice then the better placed you will be to succeed.

The most successful lawyers start developing the art of self promotion and rainmaking early in their career. It is not enough to be technically excellent at what you do – you need others to know about it. Be visible. Building a strong reputation both within the legal industry and with the outside client world is highly valuable. While self promotion does not come naturally to many lawyers, those who work on their reputation and client, marketing and business development skills are better placed to retain and attract work. A rainmaker who can generate work for themselves and others will always have career opportunities available to them.

Of critical importance also is your contribution to the firm’s bottom line. You must take control of your ability to bill and to make budget. A busy lawyer is a successful lawyer. No-one wants excuses – if you are not making budget because your partner is not giving you enough work then be proactive and seek out work from another partner or through your own referrals. If necessary, move to another firm with the resources to enable you to remain busy and challenged in order to continue progressing your career.

In summary, gone are the days when a legal qualification and a certain number of years post-qualified experience would see you climb up through the traditional ranks of a law firm. Now, you need to work on the whole package.

Technical ability is a given, but you must also develop your client, marketing and business development skills. Finally, you need to bill. After all, the correlation between your billings, your salary and your career progression is a reality of the business of law.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

My next move: What can I do from a business point of view to help progress my career?
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...