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Top 5 Tips for Young Lawyers in Private Practice Today

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Recently, we sat down with Jim Hann, one of HBW's most senior and experienced intellectual property lawyers, to discuss what it takes for young associates to succeed within the commercial law firm environment today. With more than three decades of continuous practice, Jim mentioned that in addition to sheer intelligence and an unwavering work ethic, young lawyers should distinguish themselves within the private practice culture by following five basic tips:

1. Be somebody that your boss can always rely upon.

2. If you are asked to do something, do it well and on time.

3. Treat every assignment with the same level of competence and excellence, whether the task is large or small.

4. Specialize in an area of the law that you enjoy, and that reflects your inherent skills and personal interests.

5. Make yourself invaluable by becoming the 'go to' expert in a given area of the law and/or legal procedure, no matter how specific or obscure.

Jim went on to note that is critical that young associates be "... easy to work with and get along with everybody, even those individuals they may not necessarily like." He continued, "... no matter the economic climate, career satisfaction is an important component of a productive and satisfying life."

Finally, Jim also talked about the importance of seeking out professionals and/or mentors who have proven skill in realizing what you want to achieve. He went on to say that "... these types of relationships are important for morale, and can teach you invaluable skills far more productively than trial and error."

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