It's that time of year when most of us make an extra effort to stop and count the blessings in our lives. For some, that might be a bit more challenging the past couple of years, as work is hard to come by, salaries are down and it doesn't appear that change is right around the corner. In particular, many new lawyers who invested significant time, effort and money in preparing themselves for legal careers are facing challenges they never anticipated.
So what's to be thankful for in all that? The flexibility and opportunities that we attorneys have today.
When I graduated from law school nearly twenty years ago, going solo required a significant up-front investment, contract lawyers were few and far between, working remotely was virtually unheard of and I'd never met a part-time lawyer. Yes, in one way these are tough times in which to build a legal career…but in another they're the most exciting times in history.
Redefining Our Profession
New technology, new flexibility in the way legal services are delivered, a new understanding of what clients need and a new generation of prospective clients are bringing change to the legal profession in far more ways than just scaling back the available large-firm jobs and putting that astronomical salary out of reach for most graduates.
They're allowing us to redefine our profession in a way that could be better for us, better for the clients we serve and better for the way the public views lawyers.
Some amazing minds are envisioning a future in which lawyers work more efficiently, offer affordable services to a wider range of clients while still building lucrative careers and bring their own special strengths and talents to the profession. Experts in technology, legal ethics, business management and other areas are collaborating to create new models, and we've only scratched the surface.
So, today, I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the renovation of the legal profession, and to be in a position to provide tools and resources to the attorneys who recognize that they get to decide what “be a lawyer” means for them in the future and who will thus create new possibilities for all of us.