One Lawyer’s Four-Part Strategy to Career Success

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Award-winning lawyer Marissa Wesely of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has great words of advice for lawyers looking at their own career development. Although her focus has been on supporting women in law firms and in the corporate world achieve positions of leadership, her advice can be taken to heart by any lawyer looking to advance. Hers is a four-part strategy, outlined in Lewis I. Rice’s Harvard Law Bulletin profile, “A Visible Difference: In a transition from corporate law, an attorney focuses on increasing opportunities for women”:

  1. Be more visible
  2. Find your passion
  3. Speak up
  4. Make connections

I agree that many attorneys have difficulty in all four of these areas. They see the value of the first three activities listed, but lack the confidence to act.

The fourth activity, networking, is different. I’ve found many attorneys not only lack the confidence to network, they are unconvinced of the value of networking. They simply don’t believe it’s a critical part of success.

Unfortunately, they’re wrong.

And if you don’t believe me, please believe leaders like Marissa Wesely.