How Much Of a "business" Person Needed for Success?

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jtabustos
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:53 pm

How Much Of a "business" Person Needed for Success?

Postby jtabustos » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:25 am

Seems that a common saying from posts I've read is that you have to be a good businessman to do well in many types of law (not so much gov't). This seems to include biglaw, midlaw, and small law.

This is kind of vague, I know, but could you guys maybe elaborate on this?

Obviously for any job, you have to have social and interpersonal skills. But I'm very curious what is meant by being a good businessman in law (i.e.., examples and elaboration)? What things might a person be able to look at in himself/herself that would be a sign of whether or not they have this skill (or could develop it if it's not natural)?

It almost seems that you need academic skills to get into law school and get a good job. But then afterwards it sounds like the key to success is less intellectual and more social, is that correct?

KidStuddi
Posts: 465
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:35 pm

Re: How Much Of a "business" Person Needed for Success?

Postby KidStuddi » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:43 pm

jtabustos wrote:Seems that a common saying from posts I've read is that you have to be a good businessman to do well in many types of law (not so much gov't). This seems to include biglaw, midlaw, and small law.

This is kind of vague, I know, but could you guys maybe elaborate on this?

Obviously for any job, you have to have social and interpersonal skills. But I'm very curious what is meant by being a good businessman in law (i.e.., examples and elaboration)? What things might a person be able to look at in himself/herself that would be a sign of whether or not they have this skill (or could develop it if it's not natural)?

It almost seems that you need academic skills to get into law school and get a good job. But then afterwards it sounds like the key to success is less intellectual and more social, is that correct?


This last statement is correct. But to be clear, the distinction between school and the working world is that your intellectual firepower almost never makes up for your social awkwardness in a professional setting. It's not that law firms are pure popularity contests where you can make it to the top while being stupid but well-liked; you still have to be good at your job.

Partners in law firms are business generators. They have to be capable of going out and bringing work back to the firm. If no one likes you, this will be hard. There are some practice areas where a partner's entire practice can be ancillary to others' (tax sometimes works this way) but, generally speaking, you're not going to be made a partner unless you bring business to the table (more realistically, the prospect of being able to generate business down the line). The reason being personable doesn't matter as much for government is that they're handed a never-ending stream of work and/or start their own cases. They don't seek out clients.

There are dozens of self-help books on business development / professional networking / being likable, if you're really concerned about it.




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