Some law firms have formal mentoring programs for young attorneys. These programs usually focus on helping the young lawyer navigate in the internal workings of the firm. As such, the mentors may need to guide the newbie on issues such as billing practices, firm culture, procedures, policies, processes, and so forth. While these mentoring programs can be useful, they are not the focus of this blog.
What we are talking about here is finding a marketing mentor. The marketing mentor is an established, senior attorney who has a name in the market and a nice book of business.
But my firm does not have a program for marketing mentors. What do I do? You can do one of two things:
- Sit around and wait for somebody to come to you to teach you how to be successful.
- Identify a successful lawyer that you know and pester him or her with questions on how to best build success.
Here is the good news:
Lawyers tend to have big egos. Shhhh! They like to hear themselves speak and they love getting accolades. So, we recommend that you simply reach out to one of your firm’s rainmakers and ask them to tell you how they became successful. We have not heard too many stories of the young pup being shooed away. Rather, they are usually embraced and admired for their courage and ambition. Play to the ego, young men and women!
So, you do this and are not thrown out into the street. Now what? Don’t be a taker, bring something to this new relationship.
The Role of the Young Lawyer
Here are some tips to carry your weight:
- Listen carefully – if the mentor is giving you the time, pay close attention.
- Offer to co-write an article. Actually, you write it. Have the mentor review and edit. Then gladly accept co-authorship. Ride the coattails, baby!
- Offer to attend client pitches without billing. Learn by watching the master at his or her craft.
- Ask how you should go about “credentialing” yourself. Ask where you should speak, what groups to join and any other advice to beef up your bio.
- Formally interview the mentor. Ask specifically what he or she has done to become successful. Adapt his or her best practices into your personality and style.
Benefits from having a marketing mentor
There are many benefits to having a marketing mentor. On the flip side, there is much lost opportunity by not having a marketing mentor. Here are a few benefits:
- Learn from the best
- Fast track your career
- Be pulled up by somebody at the top
- Build your own practice
- Inherit clients and relationships
- Gain respect in your firm
- Build a reputation in the market
We strongly recommend that every young lawyer find a marketing mentor. It really is not hard to do. Take control of your own destiny by asking for help. We have seen young attorneys develop into very successful lawyers due to having a mentor. We love helping young attorneys build their careers. Indeed, we do and we do it in an affordable way. Contact me at email@example.com.