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Overcoming the Hurdles on the Way to Partner

Written by: Shamim Ibrahim, Ansham White Solicitors
Published on: 27 Aug 2014

Overcoming the Hurdles on the Way to Partner

I believe that client service is at the heart of the legal profession, and should be ingrained in every legal professional and practice. Whether it’s lawyer jobs representing a multinational corporate client, paralegal jobs assisting victims of domestic violence obtain non-molestation orders or a paralegal researching case law for your supervisor, the fundamental purpose of the legal professional is to help others resolve their legal problems.

On a personal level the underlying motivational factor to work in the legal sector was to make a difference to people’s lives. I believe, I achieve this on daily basis. My work involves taking instructions in relation to Wills, Trusts, Probate and advising clients concerning very personal decisions in respect of their families and assets. I also deal with contentious Probate. Trust and Will jobs often involve a family element and emotions can run high but over the years I have learnt to deal with families going through bereavement and family disputes by developing an empathetic approach when instructed with disputes in this specialist area. I also possess great belief in mediation and feel that this can prove quite effective when it comes to dispute resolution in these circumstances. Whilst work within a litigation role is sometimes unavoidable, it's important to try to resolve matters as quickly and as cost efficiently as possible.

Over the years from solicitor to equity partnership, you will see the legal profession continually change and evolve, bringing new challenges and rewards. It's important that we as legal professionals be problem-solvers and innovators, willing to assume new responsibilities, tackle new challenges, and navigate an ever-evolving legal system. This dynamic legal environment makes each day unique and fosters an enjoyable, fulfilling work experience. I certainly have enjoyed my legal career so far and hope to do so in the future.

Lawyers, like many other professionals, face a unique and often unprecedented set of challenges at work. From managing a case load, hitting billable hour targets, without dropping below the often extremely high benchmarks. Dealing with these challenges can be difficult at times but I've found that effective time management does help. It certainly alleviated much of my own distress.

Take some time to review how you spend your time at work and make a list of the tasks that need completion that day, and do the things that need doing most first. Allocating part of the day to making telephone calls and another part to responding to emails and clearing inbox is a smart tip to put into practice, literally.

Delegation and the ability to say ‘no’ when you have too much work to do and to explain the reason why is also important. If you're struggling with a piece of work, asking for help is always an obvious but very useful remedy. Often the smallest alteration to working day can make the biggest difference in enabling us to work more quickly and effectively. It can also ease feelings of stress.

Have a think about how you can overcome challenges at work and remember that with all challenges you face, if you keep doing what you're doing in the same way you will keep getting the same result, so try new techniques until you succeed.

If you're looking for your next Partner job or you would like to find out how to become a Partner in a law firm and the top tips on career planning to get you there, then look no further than TotallyLegal.