Sir “What skills do I need to move ahead? I really aspire to become a big name in the area of Corporate Laws“- a Jr Lawyer asked me. I thought of responding publicly for the benefit of others.
Lawyers 1st Phase of Career begins in College and Second when he joins the profession. It is given that students would take up – (a) multiple internships at lawfirms/ Judiciary/ Institutions like SEBI, (b) takes Moot Courts and College Debates seriously, (c) Conduct voluntary Research on diverse subjects and also Write Papers even if not published. Try and improve your English Language & Presentation Skills (both written and verbal). And most importantly pursue one additional course like CS or CA just to get that extra knowledge and edge over others – (Note – please do not treat this as tick box items)
In 2nd Phase – (a) Mastering legalskills, (b) Demonstrating Commitment towards work and follow Office discipline is must (Again No tick Box approach please). But to be a big name he/she will have to; consciously develop your own niche practice; learn traits of business development; be a great team player and adopt technology – These are absolutely must if you want to be an Admired Leader!!
Actively try and get speaking engagements/ slots on any legal subject of your choice, begin with teaching in your college or Institute of CS/CA. Detailed planning and determination would decide your destiny!! Don’t forget it’s a Marathon!!
Sir thanks for outlining the process that one could follow to become a good corporatelawyer. But what if things don’t fall in place? How long should one wait? was the next question my young friend asked after reading my last post.
This was the very question I had asked to my Professor when I signed for my Solicitors Exam in 1988 (exactly 30 years back!!) – I said. My Prof then had replied ‘First clear your exam, work hard n if you still don’t succeed then will see.’ I was confused n more upset. But got determined to clear my Solicitors Exam first n then think what next ..
I guess this futuristic question is faced almost by every ambitious young boy or girl from any field. I can only ask them to read what SteveJobs said at Stanford –
Have courage to follow your heart ..
Last two posts I have written on making a good corporatelawyer – Internships/ Research Papers/ MootCourts / Good Academics etc is all fine – now let me list few dos and don’ts that would help making a star corporate lawyer.
I find today young lawyers have great expectations, they all want to be actively working on big transactions straight from day one and be an overnight star! They don’t want to play a secondary role in any form. The situation is worst if they come from certain reputed lawschools and academically bright. They may suffer from ‘superiority complex’; and I find them constantly in a competitive mindset.
On the other students who have, (a) patience to learn and (b) dependable and polite with team members quickly climb the Ladder of Success. More than your academic marks it is the right mindset that would work in any firm why just large firms.
As lawyers we have deal with our colleagues, juniors, seniors, clients or competitors – means people! Therefore, we must treat others the way you want to be treated.
And finally as lawyers we must provide solutions and not be a problem for the firm – that’s no progress!