A Foolish Thing That Smart (Young) Lawyers Do


The world is now her oyster!

Did you do nicely in highschool? If so, how did you try this? Well, you had been fairly good, and also you labored tremendous arduous. Then you managed to be on the prime of your class. You competed along with your highschool class and also you gained!  Now what?

Well, after all meaning you went to faculty. And perhaps an excellent faculty. Who else is at that faculty? Well, individuals similar to you, proper? The winners of their very own highschool derbies. So the competitors is more durable now, isn’t it?

But you buckle down — even more durable — and you continue to handle to be close to the highest of the category in faculty. Woohoo! So what now?

Well, you don’t want me to inform you. You go to a prime legislation college. Probably one of many prime 10 legislation colleges, proper? And you most likely see the place I’m going right here don’t you?  The competitors is brutal at this level, isn’t it? You are actually competing with the neatest and hardest-working excessive schoolers — who had been the neatest and hardest working at their prime faculties. Yikes! It’s going to be fairly a slog.

But you’re extremely pushed, aren’t you? And we already understand how good you’re, so as soon as once more you handle to scrap and claw your option to the highest of the heap.  I’m ignoring the try by many legislation colleges to cover grades. So you’re on the prime. You stretch your arms out. Your reward is nigh. And that’s after all a job at one of many prime 10 or 20 legislation companies on the greatest and most prestigious legislation market on the planet, specifically, New York City. You are in so-called Biglaw!!!!

Finally, the world is your oyster isn’t it?

Ummm, for somebody so good you probably did one thing fairly dumb didn’t you?

You simply put your self in competitors with the neatest, most gifted, hardest-working individuals on the planet for a restricted variety of partnership or different profession alternatives.

Why on Earth would you do that?

It is mindless in any respect, does it?

As an apart, it was precisely what I did.  I labored my ….. off in highschool. I acquired to Tufts University (as a result of I couldn’t get into an Ivy League college). Then I labored even more durable to get into Harvard Law School. Then I acquired a number of jobs in Biglaw in New York City and finally was not solely handed over for accomplice at Latham & Watkins, I used to be ignominiously fired together with near 200 different associates after they didn’t want me. Boy, was {that a} comeuppance. I want I knew then what I do know now.

Back to you. This profession path does make some sense in case you are simply going to remain at Biglaw for just a few years and add that status to your resume plus some refined coaching. Thereafter, I advocate that you simply take management of your profession.

And how would you are taking management of your profession?

The reply is that you simply outline the place you’re going as an alternative of letting Biglaw outline it. And the best way to do that — in my opinion — is to create a Power Niche on your profession.

If you learn my different writings on Power Niches, you’ll perceive {that a} Power Niche for a lawyer is NOT authorized in nature. It is business particular. And it’s not one thing you discover, it’s one thing you create.

There just isn’t sufficient area right here to essentially go into this, so to study extra you possibly can go to my web site that as additional rationalization of what a Power Niche is.

Now my articles for ATL are purported to be in regards to the Law Firms of the Future, and also you would possibly marvel what this pontification to younger attorneys has to do with that. And the reply is simple. The Law Firm of the Future would have as its mission to be a spot the place its younger attorneys create their very own Power Niches. As their Power Niches develop, they both keep on the agency and develop it there, or they go away the agency and turn out to be a part of the agency’s ecosystem in its business (probably even shifting to the enterprise facet).

If I had been a younger man or a younger lady in search of an unimaginable profession in legislation, boy would I wish to be at a legislation agency like that. And since the secret is all about attracting, coaching, and retaining expertise, I’d suppose a Law Firm of the Future would wish to do precisely this.


Bruce Stachenfeld is the chairman of Duval & Stachenfeld LLP, an roughly 50-lawyer legislation agency primarily based in midtown Manhattan. The agency is called “The Pure Play in Real Estate Law” as a result of all of its follow areas are targeted round actual property. With nearly 50 full-time actual property attorneys, the agency is without doubt one of the largest actual property legislation practices in New York City. You can contact Bruce by e-mail at bstachenfeld@dsllp.com. Bruce additionally writes The Real Estate Philosopher™, which accommodates functions of Bruce’s eclectic, insightful, and outside-the-box pondering to the actual property world. If you want to learn earlier articles or subscribe, please click on right here.



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