Maximize Your Lawyer Potential:Professionalism and Business Etiquette for Law Students and Lawyers

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More About This Textbook


Professionalism is the Necessary Ingredient beyond legal skills and experience. You can learn vital skills to make the most of law school, build and sustain a professional network, and succeed in your job search. Transition from law school to law practice with ease, make the most of business functions, and impress your employer. Filled with quotes from experts in the field, this book will guide you through professional expectations and help you maximize your legal career. You can still become a lawyer without this information… but you'll be a much better lawyer with it!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780314194039
  • Publisher: West Academic Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/4/2008
  • Series: Career Guides
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 271
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements v

Chapter 1 Legal Skills Are One-Third of What You Need to Succeed in Law 1

Tom's Story 1

The Gap Between Law School and the Practice of Law 4

The Necessary "Soft" Skill 5

Professionalism Is the Infrastructure of Career Success 6

Chesea's Story 8

Why Worry About Professionalism? 9

Chapter 2 Using Law School Opportunities to Help You Succeed 11

Tasha's Story 11

Law School Is Short-Make the Most of It! 12

Chart Your Academic Coursework 13

Belly Up to the Bar? 13

Joint Degrees: A Double-Edged Sword? 15

Judicial Clerkships: To Pursue or Not to Pursue? 18

Other Law School Curriculum Options 20

Using Law School Extracurricular Options to Build Your Repertoire of Skills 21

Relationships to Build 23

The Biggest Mistake of My Life? 24

Chapter 3 Addressing the Debt Dilemma 27

Jason's Story 27

Relevance, Your Honor? 28

The Basics: What Is a Credit Report? 29

Avoid Living Like a Lawyer in Law School 31

The Impact of Poor Credit and High Debt 34

It's Never Too Early to Think About Your Retirement Plan! 37

Karen's Story 38

Chapter 4 Other Gold Mines for Developing Necessary Skills 40

Developing Leadership and Management skills 40

Tonya's Story 42

For Further Reading 46

Developing Your Public-Speaking Skills 47

Public Speaking Quick Tips 49

Public-Speaking Resources 51

Developing Your Times-Management and Organizational Skills 51

Seth's Story 51

Tackling Time Management 51

Procrastination Is Only a Temporary Reprieve From the Inevitable 56

Tacking Files and Piles 58

E-Mail Voicemail, and Snail Mail Management 59

Chapter 5 Making Networking a Part of Your Life 62

Contact Management Is the First Step 63

You DO Have an Existing Network! 64

Planting the Seeds: Grow Your Network in Law School 65

Using Alumni to Increase Your Network 68

Another Tool: Informational Interviews 70

Sample Informational Interview Questions 73

Everyday Opportunities to Develop Your Network 75

Nourishing and Using Your Network 78

Professionalism in Networking 79

Sarah's Story 82

Chapter 6 Mind Your Manners: A Primer on Business Etiquette 85

John's Story 85

An Introduction to Etiquette 87

Correspondence Basics 87

Cover Letter Savvy 88

Business Letter Fundamentals 91

Thank-Your Notes and Other Necessary Follow-Up 92

You Are Invited! Invitation Essentials 94

Introductions 95

Meeting Etiquette 96

Travels Basics 99

Julie's Story 100

Giving and Receiving Business Gifts 104

Cocktail Parties Can Be Fun! 105

Hungry, Anyone? 108

The Golden Rule Rules 111

Chapter 7 Traps for the Uninitiated: Technology Pitfalls 112

Is a Lawyer's Life Private in the World of Electronic Communications? 112

E-Mail: Friend and Foe 113

Foward E-Mail With Care 115

Other E-Mail Actions to Handle With Care 116

Communication Issues in E-Mail 117

Constructive Feedback Via E-Mail? Not a Chance! 118

If You Wouldn't Say It, Don't Send It! 119

E-Mails Gone Public 120

I Can't Keep Up: Volume Issues 121

Drafting E-Mails Like a Pro 122

Other Common E-Mail Communication Mishaps 124

Social Networking Sites: Too Much of a Good Thing? 125

Blogs and Web Sites: Selling Point or Liability? 127

Other Possible Technology Perils 128

Voicemail Issies 130

Chapter 8 Putting It All Together: Professionalism in the Job Search 132

A Note About the Office of Career Services 133

Elbow Grease, Leg Work and Research 135

Take Care With Your Application Materials 136

Ready Your Resumé 136

Cover Letter Reprise 139

References 140

Writing Sample 141

Transcript 143

First You Have to Land the Interview 144

Persistence, Yes! Stalking' No 145

Chapter 9 Putting It All Together: Legal Interview Savvy 148

Reprise: Research Is a Must 148

Prepare Material to Have on Hand 149

Other Necessary Preparations 150

Dress to Land the Job 151

The Day of the Interview Has Arrived! 154

Fielding Interview Questions Effortlessly 155

A Word About "Scripted Interviews" 163

The Interview With a Meal 164

Interview Challenges and How to Overcome Them 165

Professionalism Permeates the Interview Process 167

Answering the Tough Questions 169

When Is It Okay to Cancel an Interview? 172

After the Interview 173

After the Job Offer 174

To Negotiate or Not 178

After Acceptance, Reneging Is Not an Option 181

Chapter 10 On the Clock: Your First Summer Internship or Summer Associate Position 183

Orientation and Policies 183

Confidentiality 184

Work Assignments-A Recipe for Success

Meeting Your Commitments With Your Assignments 186

Summer Job Quick Tips From an Employer

Know Where to Turn for Help 188

Feedback-Getting the Information You Need 189

Billing and Accounting for Time 191

A Word About Summer Social Events 193

Communicating Effectively 194

Chapter 11 Putting It All Together: Post-Law School-Your First Legal Job 197

Your Support System 197

Finding and Keeping Mentors 198

The Golden Rule-Again! 200

Learning Employer Policies-Again 201

Surfing, Anyone? 202

What Are the Resources? 204

Working to Achieve 207

Developing Expertise 211

Training, or Trial by Fire? 212

Feedback and Performance Evaluations 215

Stepping Stones and Milestones 217

Coping With a "Less Than Perfect" Supervisor 218

Working With Support Staff-Especially Your Assistant 221

Organizational Issues 224

Mistakes-Everyone Makes Them: Not Everyone Recovers 226

Consequences to a Lack of Professionalism on the Job 228

Chapter 12 Putting It All Together: Pro Bono and Community Service 230

Understand Your Employer's Commitment to Pro Bone 232

Pro Bone Challenge© 233

Split Summer Opportunities 233

Jump In and Do It! 234

Resources 235

Chapter 13 Putting It All Together: In Pursuit of Happiness and Well-Being 237

Obtaining and Maintaining Balance 238

The Flexibility Quotient: Flex-Time and Part-Time Options 241

Know the Risks: Substance Abuse and Depression 245

Taking Control of Your Career 248

Index 251

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