Have you ever wondered who the best person is to guide you to success in your career as a lawyer? The answer surprisingly is not any of the folks responsible for your placement at law school, nor the hiring managers to whom you shoot emails with a copy of your detailed resume. The people you need to target are the Baby Boomer attorneys, who may be partners in large or small law firms, or even government officers. If you wish to make a great career for yourself follow these five tips to connect with Baby Boomer lawyers.
Use your telephone more often
Though this is the age of the Internet, the ubiquitous telephone has not lost its charm yet. It makes a big difference when compared to the common SMS or even instant messaging. The problem is that Baby Bommers do not exactly love messages or texts; they would rather hear a live voice over the telephone. Hence, the next time you wish to collect some information about an impending in-person interview, it is better you call, rather than sending a text message. Even if the lawyer is terribly busy, he or she will set aside 15 to 20 minutes to listen to a budding lawyer, rather than participate in a thread of emails.
Be there, because it matters
Although Baby Boomers like talking to a person, what pleases them more is meeting him or her in person. Alison Monahan, legal careers expert, recalls an incident while she was a young associate at BigLaw. The senior partners at the law firm used to invite the entire office to join the dinner meeting hosted by a local lawyer organization. The Boomer lawyers expected their juniors to chill out more often, instead of being stuck with complex legal documents relating to some case. Hence, the trick lies in seizing the opportunity and participating in a networking event even if, you don’t really like in-person networking.
Avoid silly spelling and grammatical errors
It is not enough to be articulate in order to be a successful lawyer. Whenever you write something that will catch the eye of a senior at the firm, make sure that you double check for spelling and grammatical errors. Incorrect use of the language not only denotes lack of knowledge, it is construed as an act of disrespect, and is often frowned upon with contempt. You do have spellchecker and autocorrect, though you wouldn’t want to be embarrassed by an autocorrect fail, which is an embarrassment you don’t want to suffer.
It pays to flatter your mentor
Baby Boomers are attorneys and not just people working as lawyers. Hence why reaching out to them as though they were the only legal luminaries around will leave them flattered beyond words. Make sure you take whatever advice is given, so that the next time you are stuck at an informational interview you can always worm your way out by asking for more. Later on, you may want to send a personal thank you note, which will leave the Boomer happier.
Sponsors can also help
You are not just looking for a mentor who will take you on and mold you as a perfect lawyer. If you really want to go far in your career, you need to have Baby Boomer ‘sponsors’ helping you get a firm footing right from start. There is indeed a lot of difference between a mentor and a sponsor.
One can infer that the personal touch (by appearing in person, or at least calling over the phone) is what matters more to Baby Boomers. They are probably looking for a break from the routine drudgery, and would love to look at a new face now and then.
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