Thursday, February 12, 2009

Self-Marketing Is Key to Being a Top Lawyer

From comes a great article on self-promotion and branding.
Everyone has a personal brand even though most don't seem to know it. Your personal brand is how decision-makers view you. It is the total sum and breadth of your work history, reputation, involvement, initiative and personal values. Brand you is riding on whether people think you are competent, committed, available and willing to offer counsel. Sometimes for free. And often after hours.

If you are frustrated about not attaining high levels of success in your career, consider whether you have been cultivating or neglecting "brand you."

Your personal brand is established by the places you work and the titles achieved while there. It is your reputation for producing or failing to produce reliable, timely and quality work product. Your brand reflects your ability to communicate specialization but also to understand the issues and policies affecting your entire organization.

For top lawyers, career is not just about self interest. It is about contributions to the interests of the decision maker and the larger community.

Through expertise, involvement and shared values, top lawyers continuously cultivate reputable self-brands. It's the essence of those brands that separates top attorneys from colleagues destined for repeated lateral moves or career stagnation.

Top lawyers know that, while most of their colleagues look forward to relaxing at home at the end of the day, the highest-achieving ones do not focus on when one day ends and another begins. They look forward to the firm reception or foundation meeting at night because they are acutely aware that a little extra involvement is what moves the ordinarily competent attorney into the extraordinary, top attorney column. Even when not working, the top attorneys remain available and on call, considering the interests of their employers and communities at all times.

If it sounds like too much work, think again. Top attorneys don't view their involvement as work as much as they do a service for the people and causes they find most compelling. They recognize involvement as an indispensable component to staying on top in their careers.

If your objective is to become a good lawyer, then good jobs must suffice. You cannot offer only enough to be a good attorney and then be disappointed when you are not offered the top jobs.

Should you desire the top jobs, then simply put -- the top jobs go to the top lawyers. So it raises the question: What does it take to become a top lawyer? Build your brand.

Decision-makers give top jobs to the attorneys with the strongest brands. These are the brands that demonstrate shared values like reputation for responsiveness, accuracy, discretion, political savvy, family and participation in lofty priorities beyond day-to-day work.

Brands achieve recognition based upon consistency. While it is difficult to change a negative brand image, it is easy to destroy a positive one through inconsistency. Lawyers who desire higher levels of opportunity should begin contributing their time on workplace committees, in local politics or in community organizations. They should hone an expertise and develop relationships through involvement in shared interests.
Please click here for the entire article.

Please be sure to visit, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

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