Relationship Strategy for Law Firm Success

To succeed in a law firm environment, you must establish strong relationships, not just with partners, but with other associates and support staff, as well. 

1.  Support Staff:  They are the lifeline of the firm that keeps everything running smoothly.  They are the gatekeepers for busy partners when you need to see them.  They are valuable resources for new associates who need samples of documents that partners filed in similar cases.   So be extremely considerate of them, remember their birthdays and celebrate on their personal occasions, such as the birth of a child or grandchild, a wedding, or an anniversary with the firm.

2.  Other Associates:  I can’t tell you how many times I asked other, more experienced associates for advice when I first began practicing.  They provided incredible insight not just into how various cases worked, but how the different partners worked.  Each one is unique and will have a different style, and you need to tailor your work product to their individual preferences.  Lean on other associates to help you in that regard since they just went through the same process.  Then plan to do the same for new associates hired after you.

3.  Partners:  Mind your manners and always say a personal thank you for bonuses or other special occasions.  Thank them for the opportunity to work on particularly great cases, and let them know how much you value what you learn from them.  Attend all firm functions.  Partners invest a great deal of time and money planning and paying for such events, and it is disappointing not to have good participation.