eDiscovery Careers: Achieving Success as a Non-Attorney in a Law Firm: Master Some Good Habits, Part 2
June 19, 2012
In last week’s post, we started talking about some habits and practices that you should develop and incorporate into all the steps you take on the road to success – habits and practices that will serve you well in moving into a senior position. Here are a few more:
Take responsibility for your growth: Never lose sight of the fact that you alone are responsible for your career. This is just a mind-set, but it’s an important one. Always remember: your boss is not responsible for your advancement. You are. Don’t fall into a trap of blaming others or external factors for what’s happening in your career. People who do this don’t get anywhere. They don’t scrutinize their actions and situations to find room for improvement or change.
Never lose sight of the mission: Don’t forget the purpose of your department and your position. To illustrate this point, let me tell you about a meeting I once attended. It was at a major law firm that had just purchased a new technology tool -- a tool that included all kinds of features that were useful – but unfamiliar -- to attorneys, and that weren’t yet available in other products. This product, however, required more administrative attention than products that lacked those useful end-user features.
A litigation support professional participating in the meeting was fighting the product tooth and nail. She was very vocal about it. Her evaluation of the product was heavily weighted on the resources required to support the product rather than on its value to the litigators. She had lost sight of the mission, which was to support litigators. Her department’s mission was not to make her job easier.
An attorney who participated in that meeting told me later that the term “litigation support” was an oxymoron in the firm. If that attorney had any decision-making authority regarding her advancement, she wasn’t going anywhere. Don’t let this happen to you! Don’t lose sight of the purpose of what you are doing.
Be a problem solver: If someone comes to you with a need that your department can’t address, don’t turn them away. I’m not suggesting you take on work that your department isn’t equipped to handle. Rather, do some legwork and help them to find the resources they need. And don’t just suggest they call someone or check into something. Tell them you don’t provide the serve but you know someone or will find someone who does. Make some calls, provide contact information, make introductions, and do-follow-up.
I realize this takes time, and time is scarce. But, it has a huge benefit: over time, YOU will become the go-to person when your clients have problems. YOU will be the ‘problem solver’. Being able to solve problems is a must for senior management.
We’ll continue discussing good habits and practices in next week’s issue. So, what do you think? Can you share habits and practices with us that you’ve developed that serve you well? And, as always, please let us know if you’d like to know more about a topic.
Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.