The ‘new‘ year is already almost two weeks ‘old’. I’m sure by now (hopefully) your career as a lawyer is already in full throttle for 2018. If you’ve taken the time to answer the questions in our Career Audit 2017 Edition, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to map out your career game plans for 2018. If you haven’t, please read it here and do your career a favour by going through the audit first.

So we successfully address all related issues, I’ll be making the Career Game Plan a series of three parts. Let’s begin with something I wrote down while bored in court one day. Remember to raise your right hand ☺

A Lawyer’s New Year Resolution

I solemnly declare that:

I shall not draw caricatures of the judge while in court nor dress like a farmer to court.

I shall not make up laws and authorities as an opposing counsel, nor make my behind available for judicial lashing from the bench.

I shall not spend two minutes reading a document, then tell my client it took me an hour to peruse one page.

I shall not lead the court on a wild goose chase nor ask irrelevant and meaningless questions.

I shall not perpetually seek for adjournment, just to have a reason to keep fleecing my client.

I shall not enter the Bar straight from the bar so as not to display a drunken level of ignorance.

I shall not argue to the death with every human, animal or robot unfortunate enough to argue with me.

I shall not be too lazy to implement my career game plan for this year.

I shall not cower in the face of obstacles to making my dreams a reality.

So help me God!
©Faith Obafemi
January, 2017

 

In this new year, it’s important that you develop productive habits that will propel you to where you want to be as a lawyer.

It’s not enough to dream, you’ve got to act!

Just like Tochukwu Eziukwu at Three Legals said, feel free to “Dream like a fool, but act like a Lawyer!”

Be Bold.

Be Daring.

Yes, this year promises to be dazzling, but it won’t just happen if you do nothing. What then is your game plan for having a dazzling 2018? No clue? Relax, this series should give you an idea.

Before we proceed, it’s time for some deep reflections. Rather than asking you to write down your goals for 2018, I’m gonna ask you to describe your ideal 2018. How do you want 2018 to shape out for you? If you want to write, fine, if you want to draw, that’s cool, if you want to do an audio or video, fantastic! Just ensure you find a way to express your ideal 2018.

I use this tactic all the time, so rather than saying I want to make lots of money this year, I would say, I want to be able to have a fully stocked fridge and pantry at all times. I want to be able to go on vacation anytime I wish. I want to be able to treat my friends to amazing outings.

For YOU, how do you want 2018 to look like, career-wise? We’d appreciate if you could let us know in the comments section. We would love to cheer you on!

Expressing your ideal 2018 would give us the raw material to draw up our game plan. However, your game plan should not just contain generic sentences like “become an expert in the blockchain legal practice area.” Do your best to be specific.

  1. Register for an MOOC on blockchain and cryptocurrency.
  2. Attend one related seminar each month.
  3. Write two long-form articles on related topics each month.

With the above, you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing to “become an expert in the blockchain legal practice area.”

Reducing your goals to abstract forms like “I want to lose weight,” makes them more difficult to achieve. It’s smarter to make them actionable like “I will jog for 30 minutes everyday.”

Whatever you do with your legal career this year, ensure you execute a paradigm shift from an I-Lawyer to a T-Lawyer (i.e. a Technology driven lawyer). LEaP International has a detailed online lecture facilitated by Senator Ihenyen of Infusion Lawyers, explaining how you can achieve this.

Learn skills!
Learn skills!!
Learn skills!!!

This can never be over emphasized. Most of these skills are easy to learn and you can even teach yourself! University of Google, anyone? Team You Tube can I see you raise our hand?

In another post after this series, I’ll be discussing soft skills lawyers need to survive in today’s digital world.

Don’t know what skills you should develop? Simply consider your strengths. What are you already good at? Then develop it to pro level. All you need is interest and determination.

One skill I’ll recommend, any time, any day are IT skills. LinkedIn listed IT skills as the most sought after skill in 2017. With the ongoing digital revolution, you can bet it will continue to be in high demand.

Don’t be rigid. Be flexible enough to easily adapt to the constant changes. You can expect that your cheese will always me moved. Rather than wasting precious time Hemming and Hawing “who moved my cheese!” Be like Sniffy and Scruffy who always had their running shoes on standby, ever ready to chase new cheese.

Think strategically! Think Smartly!

Learn from the experts, the best way to do this is usually to read their books, especially for those hard to reach experts. A child who sits on the shoulder of an elder gets to see farther than the elder. The internet is your friend. With strategic search you’ll find lots of free resources online and paid ones too that you can afford.

For those who already have the requisite skills, your next step should be to sharpen them and constantly review your skills to ensure they are up to date and relevant in today’s constantly evolving world.

Relevance is key. You shouldn’t be learning typewriter skills when we have smartphones.

If robot lawyers are now being employed, then your career is at stake! It’s time to step up the game!

Society is dynamic and evolving, lawyers more than any other professionals have a duty to keep up with trends (not only fashion and latest smartphones ☺).

Be aware. Be alert.

Being a T-Shaped lawyer requires you to be tech savvy. Leverage technology for better career performance this year.

Learned friends, I draw the curtain here for Part 1 of the series. Watch out for Part 2 of the series next week, where I’ll be talking about must have apps and digital tools for lawyers.

Let’s go rock 2018!

I don’t know about you, but I’m set out to be a Rockstar this year! So tell us how you are gonna rock 2018 in the comments box. Lets hear you before we unfold part 2.

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