“This book tells you all you need to know about how to get on.” The Times

“Relatively few books have been written with assistant solicitors in mind, about how to succeed at the business of being a lawyer… fewer still have devised a programme for so doing that runs alongside a book. This book does both.”Law Society (The Law Management Section)

5 star rating HR Magazine

The Big 3 (brand, business & leadership) Blog

The holidays: the perfect time to network

Leading up to the holidays, you’re almost certainly desperately trying to get that all-important deal done and/or simply hoping to clear your desk. But this is one of the best possible times to move away from the comfort zone of focusing on client work to expand and nurture your relationships. As people tend to be more relaxed during this time of the year, and the party season gives you lots of opportunities to “meet and greet”, take advantage of these circumstances and reach out.

With this in mind:

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The keynote speech: value versus entertainment

Last week I was asked to give a presentation to associates at a large international law firm.  I suggested one of my favorite topics:  personal branding.   The partners were appreciative: “We’re sure you’ll be entertaining, informative, and motivating”.

As we discussed the details, they were enthused by my idea that each individual’s personal brand should incorporate the firm’s core values. Yet when I suggested taking a poll during the presentation to find out how many people could actually identify these values, and—still more crucially—how well individual firm members were delivering on those values, they lost their nerve.

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Powerful presence

In the current marketplace, where everyone is aiming for distinction, a powerful presence can be the decisive factor, effectively determining whether one gets the job, promotion, or client. A powerful presence can sometimes feel like an intangible gift that one can neither cultivate nor acquire: a combination of expertise, credibility, and confidence, all set-off by excellent communication skills.

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Doing good—even exceptional—work is not enough

Obviously the first prerequisite for building a successful legal practice is to do good work and work hard for your clients.  But, unfortunately, that’s not enough.  And I still come across many young lawyers who just don’t understand this… Only yesterday, during a training course, several lawyers admitted that some of my information seemed a hard pill to swallow. 

But, as with strong medicine, it’s only for your own benefit.  Therefore, as an associate, beyond doing the requisite level of good work, here’s three basic things you must do (as a minimum!):

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Overcoming shyness

The other day I was in the City meeting a friend, who was delayed in traffic.  By the time she got there I was engrossed in conversation with a group next to me.  After exchanging cards with one of my new acquaintances and moving to sit with my friend I noticed that she seemed a little pensive.  Soon she confessed that, had she been the one waiting, she would have been uncomfortable.  Rather than make new contacts, she assured me that she’d have buried herself in the newspaper she always carries around for exactly such occasions.

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