- On August 12, 2017
How do you get people in power to champion your career, especially when you don’t look like them? I recently attended a career panel by NAPABA, and the panelists gave some great tips on how to gain important supporters:
- Anticipate their work needs. As a junior associate, the partner at a top firm knew her partner’s travel schedule, what briefings he needed, and when he wanted them. She would draft the briefs, create the binders, and prep him on his schedule, all without his asking. When it came time for her to make partner, she had his support.
- Grow relationships slowly and deliberately. A rainmaker at a top firm started her career without any senior partners asking to help her. Taking matters in her own hands, she identified a senior lawyer she wanted to learn from. She did not ask him outright for mentorship; instead, she began by asking if she could sit in on his meetings and then did increasing amounts of work over time. To him, the mentee relationship came about naturally.
- Realize life is a game. Since you cannot opt out, learn the rules, and chart your own path. Many General Counsels land their top job through colleagues who champion them, for example. Always build your relationships and help others.