A Legal Career is about Value

Understanding ValueI’m sure you spend time thinking about your legal career, despite what I’ve said in the past about it.  The reason I’m sure is because I do, and everybody else I know does also.

But what is it specifically that you think about when you’re pondering your role?  Is it promotion?  Pay rises?  Responsibility and Autonomy?

All of those things are close matters to most people’s hearts, but what I want to suggest to you today is that you should be focusing on value.  Specifically, what value you are providing to your firm, and strategies to let you provide MORE value to your firm.

It’s a chicken and egg situation, but one with a more easy answer.  The truth of the matter is that creating value for your firm comes first in your career.  It is your value to the firm which provides the other things (pay, promotion, responsibility and the like).  If the firm can see the tangible and meaningful value that you are offering by virtue of your presence there, then it’s going to give you those other things because it makes sense to do so.

Let’s Start with Profit

What do you know about profit?  You might have read my little summary of how profit works, but did you drill down further?  Do you take the time to specifically consider your law firm and how it functions profitability?

Does your firm base its numbers and growth strategy on increased revenue?  Better leverage?  Maybe it relies on training its lawyers to be more productive than the competitors do.

If you can consider ways to contribute to profit in a meaningful way, it’s going to have a dramatic impact on your career in the law.

So today I want to leave you with this fairly simple message: understanding profit is a fantastic starting point when it comes to your decision making on your career.

Why do I say that?  Well if you are given choices A and B, and all things are otherwise equal, but because you understand the way in which your firm functions you know to choose A because it’s going to be more profitable – don’t you think that’s going to be an important decision?

It sounds like I’m only talking about big stuff here, but I’m really not.  It’s the small, day to day decisions, that result in some people being labelled as consumers of resources, and others being labelled as contributors.

There are opportunities every day for you in your career, you just need to know where to look for them.

I encourage you to be a contributor.  Not a consumer.

Happy Lawyering!