The Shocking Truth About Making It Big as a Business Lawyer

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How Big Is Your Dream?

Here’s the truth, and there’s nothing shocking about it—success as a business lawyer starts long before any glamorous trial, where you might stand in front of the Supreme Court making closing arguments in a ground-breaking case of international corporate espionage with ramifications that will shake the judiciary for decades and you’re carried out to speak to the adoring media on the shoulders of your dozen law clerks.

That, my friends, is not so much a picture of success as it is a fever dream, no doubt brought on by years of having to absorb 1,000 pages of case law daily.

Success as a business lawyer is as small as the steps you can take to get there.

Define Success

To be successful, the first thing you need to do is define what success looks like for you. It’s different for everyone and starts with being honest with yourself from the very first interview.

What kind of life you want influences what kind of job you should take. Do you want to work 12-hour days, be a monster, conquer, and be compensated accordingly? Find a prestigious, cutthroat mega law firm and work your way to the top. Do you want a rich family life, to leave your work at work, and to have regular time off? Look for a small, people-focused law practice.

Make Your Plan

Anyone who knows me well has heard me say that the day I passed the bar was the saddest day of my life. That is a cold, hard fact, and it has to do with the fact that I had no plan. I’d been working for years on end, reading those 1,000 pages a day I referenced earlier, to transform myself into a professional commodity, and then I graduated and realized no one wanted what I’d been trained to produce.

I’d been following someone else’s plan for so long—following the rules and the syllabi—that I had to sit down and take a good long while to think before I came up with my own plan. And I’ve never looked back!

Now Do It!

I know, I know, it sounds simple. Figure out what you want, make a plan, and execute it—but I don’t have to tell you how many people never get around to the doing it part. Being the master and commander of your own fate means taking the wheel in hand and steering your own path. So I say it again, now do it!

If you need help making your plan—and don’t we all?—I’m creating courses right now that you might find useful. Head on over to Taylor Law Academy and check it out!

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