New Lawyer Mistakes – Lawyer Reputation

A Lawyer Reputation Is A Greatest Asset

Today I will talk about importance of lawyer reputation. I will address the mistake many new lawyers make when they fail to understand that their reputation is the most important element of their career.

This is critical.

If you commit the blunders outlined in the preceding three articles Inadequate TimekeepingMissing DeadlinesLegal Proofreading, your reputation will have a difficult time in recovering and could sink your ship.

Let me assure you, it is better to have awareness of these issues and be proactive in your efforts, than learn the hard way and try to survive their negative consequences.

The necessity to safeguard one’s reputation has always been paramount in our profession, but this has become even more of an issue with the advent of the internet and online testimonials.

Let’s have a closer look.

Remember When Your Word Was Your Bond?  It Still Is.

Your personal reputation for trust and service is something you have to build your entire career, and truly begins when you start law school.  If you don’t give the necessary attention to details, or fail to keep confidential information to yourself, or exhibit unprofessional behaviour in any way, the judgements will become part of your reputation and will be challenging to overcome.

You want your reputation to grow, not decline, and you will become known based on a mixture of your skill and attention to detail, your personality and customer service, your honesty and integrity, and your ethical standards, judgement and diligence.

If you are working in a firm with other attorneys, every encounter is going to affect your reputation to some degree, so please do bear this in mind and build the kind of name for yourself that is going to be respected.

This will be even more important if you should decide to ever run your own practice, as your name and your success will be intimately linked together.

The Online Consideration

With online testimonials and rating websites, it is more important than ever to manage your reputation closely.  It can take only a few dissatisfied customers posting negative reviews about you to irrevocably damage your good name.

With more and more clients using online resources to find and choose their lawyer, you do not want to have these negative opinions casting a shadow on you or your practice.

You will be fighting an uphill battle.

So, you will likely have to give some time to monitoring your online reputation, and adding commentary and responses to any potentially damaging reviews.  If you are as time strapped as most lawyers are, there are services available to monitor your reputation for you.  Here is a link to some quality advice on the subject, and information to schedule a consultation.

Of course, the best practice is to over-deliver and stay true to your ethical standards, but some people are never satisfied and you may invariably have to deal with this at some point in your career.

Closing Thoughts

A Lawyer reputation is very important. Please don’t make this damaging and common mistake that new lawyers are prone to do.  Guard, cultivate and build your reputation from the very first day at law school.  Remember, every encounter you have is a chance to improve the quality of your name.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Henry Ford:

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

Nicely said Henry.

If you have any questions or comments on this subject, please do leave them in the section below and join the conversation.

Until next time!

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