The Business of Law is often neglected in the factual scenarios that unfold in your casebooks. Law is a business. Attorneys provide legal services in exchange for payment. This creates a multitude of responsibilities outside the research, analysis, writing, and other legal activities that you learn in substantive courses and experiential learning. You must be cognizant of this reality, and learning more about the Business of Law and its concomitant responsibilities will be instrumental in launching a successful career.
Marketing Yourself and Your Organization
Law school teaches you how to advocate for others. However, you must also learn to advocate for yourself and your organization. Learn how to use your personal brand as the building block for creating a successful strategy to target and woo potential employers and clients.
Responding to Business Opportunities
The legal environment is constantly changing. This year’s “Hot Practice Area” may be last year’s “Bust.” Those who find the possibilities in the ever-changing legal market thrive. The key is learning to use the versatile legal skills that you have in new contexts and convincing others (i.e., employers and clients) that you use them effectively in this new scenario.
Reading Financial Statements
Effective counsel requires an understanding of basic financial statements. Whether serving business-oriented clients, your own practice, or a nonprofit organization, attorneys are expected to understand an organization’s bottom line. Familiarize yourself with these documents.
With the rise of the information age, the act of collecting, organizing, and analyzing data is now as important as the information itself. Learn to organize and track information with computer software, such as Excel.