Whether you’re an entrepreneur or are a professional services provider, such as a doctor or special legal advisor, you must know the value of making a great impression. As essential as making the right impression is, “swag class” should be a requirement for earning a law degree.
Boardrooms and courtrooms may not be the red carpet, but perception is still important. The way your peers, superiors, and potential clients see you will significantly impact the trajectory of your career. You need to display to colleagues and clients that you’re a competent, confident, and compassionate litigator who’s able to handle important, notable cases. Continue reading to get some tips to help you put your best foot forward like the best professionals in the legal profession.
Tips To Present Yourself As A Professional Lawyer
Choose A Role Model In The Legal Profession.
When you have ambitious goals, it’s important to have an image in your mind of the type of person you’d like to become. Having a role model or hero in your profession gives you a roadmap to follow on your way to achieving your dreams.
Malliha Wilson is the perfect role model for little girls and young women who aspire to become professional lawyers in the future. Before founding Nava Wilson LLP, Malliha served as a special legal advisor for the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario. The graduate of the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University also practiced human rights and labor law early in her career. She was also the first visible minority to serve as Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the Ontario Government and to present cases before the Supreme Court of Canada.
From complex litigation to advocating for the Canadian Institute’s 8th Aboriginal Law, Senior Counsel Wilson has done it all. Throughout her career, Malliha has used her desire to be a great lawyer and her passion for protecting the rights of the disenfranchised to build an impressive career.
Even though it’s great to have a role model, it’s equally important to remain true to yourself. It’s okay to aspire to be like your role model in some ways, but don’t lose yourself in the process.
Dress For Your Clients.
If you’ve ever seen the legal drama “Suits,” you know that corporate lawyers dress like their big wig clients. However, the prosecutors on “Law and Order” tend to dress a little less ostentatiously, yet sharp nonetheless.
Indeed, you should dress for the people who you seek to represent. A district attorney with hopes of becoming an attorney general doesn’t want to give off the image of a Wall Street power broker. Paradoxically, someone who practices corporate or real estate law needs to give off the air of someone who’s helped their clients make a lot of money.
If you choose to wear jewelry, it’s important to be selective. Necklaces, watches, and earrings are fine to wear, but you’re not going for the red carpet look. Keep it modest and professional; simple gold necklaces or silver necklaces will do just fine, and you can leave the rubies and emeralds at home.
Keep A Firm, Calm, And Courteous Demeanor.
When someone comes to you for legal advice, it’s your job to provide them with a sense of confidence that everything will be alright. Prospective clients need to feel like they can entrust their best interests to you, and having the right demeanor goes a long way towards earning their trust. You want to be a combination of firm, calm, and courteous to show your clients you’re a strong, level-headed attorney who cares for their clients.
By combining a unique and professional style with the right disposition, you can put yourself in a great position to flourish in the legal field. Having a role model, developing your confidence and composure, and creating a corporate look that compliments your personality will go a long way towards earning the respect of colleagues and clients.