According to statistics, there are more law firms in the United States than ever before. As top partners depart from major firms to launch their own boutique practices, more legal firms translate to more small to medium-sized companies. As a result, there will be more chances for young attorneys to witness the activity firsthand and subsequently take part in it.
What does first chair mean? By First Chair, it means the leading attorney in a case. Employment in a US law practice for at least 3 years continuously, or 3 years out of a continuous period of 5 years, is a legal requirement before assuming partnership in a law firm. Anecdotally, it appears that there are more young partners. Soon after the third year, some even start their own business. The difference between having to look for employment and being the one who does the work is actually rather small. This blog discussed the 3 must-to-do things for becoming eligible for the first chair.
Things to do for getting First Chair
- Be fast at work!
There is a lot to say about this, therefore it comes first. Everybody receives the same number of hours daily. If your time is being spent obsessing about trivial matters, you are not pursuing leads, taking on new cases, or strategically positioning your current cases. The division of labor in a law practice is justified. You will eventually need to be capable of trusting your juniors to do a better job than you after a certain level of supervision.
Is the main point of their filings for that interlocutory application accurate, even though they may not have been written exactly as you would have? If so, that ought to be adequate to establish the context for you to address any additional weaknesses in oral arguments, if any.
The main thing is delegation. Your juniors can’t help you with some things. Therefore, let them handle what is possible for them. You were performing those duties not very long ago, thus it is difficult to let go. But you now have additional responsibilities as the first chair. Prospective customers wish to know your thoughts on their issues. Existing clients are interested in your strategy suggestions and feedback on how the case is progressing. Your juniors are looking to you for guidance on what is the next step. You are committing time to something that only you are capable of handling whenever you spend time on a job that someone else could perform for you.
- Manage the subordinates
Working in law firms is a miserable experience. Time is a valuable resource, so based on levels of clearance a specific must pass through within the firm, there are deadlines from the courts, client demands, and internal deadlines to comply. Every agency priced its time. If you hire a senior lawyer, it will cost more as it is more worthy. This means that younger attorneys end up spending more time at jobs as a result of receiving the more time-consuming responsibilities due to cost-saving measures.
- Attending networking events is not a good idea!
There are other options besides attending networking events to expand your network. You can start with the connections you already have. Customers don’t search for attorneys on Google in the same way they do other online purchases. Don’t undervalue the influence of word of mouth. A reference from another attorney or an existing client is much more likely to be successful than a cold call.