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By David J. Bilinsky
Shouldn't be afraid.
To live, love, there's a song to be sung.
Cause we may not
Be the Young Ones very long..."
—Roy Bennett and Sid Tepper
Ta-da! Announcing our special six-issue Law Practice focus on the stages and transitions in a lawyer's career. This first issue in the series is devoted to the needs of new associates. Future issues will cover making partner (or not), young partners, leadership, prime time careers and retirement.
Advice for new lawyers. Like most young things just starting out, associates must be carefully nurtured. They must start life in fertile soil, they must grow in favorable circumstances, and their enthusiasm and energy must be encouraged and channeled into productive and profitable directions. In this issue, we've tapped experts in all aspects of practice management for advice on helping new lawyers flourish. We start with advice for new associates on how to meet—and exceed—firm expectations regarding marketing, networking and supervising staff. Associates also get a primer on firm finances, case management technologies and the inner workings of firm management.
Also in this issue, a firm partner reveals the unwritten rules of survival that are critical during the first 90 days after joining a new firm. And Marcia Shannon, in her Managing column, provides much-needed perspective on the new associate's need for feedback and assistance from supervising lawyers. Based on her survey of law firm associates, it is essential reading for partners and associates.
In this issue's case study, we focus on a fictional associate who's received a less-than-stellar performance review. Our experts provide wonderful advice on how our associate can turn this situation around and not only grow from it, but use it to launch the next stage in his career with the firm. This case study is a must-read for every associate, as well as every partner who must evaluate and provide feedback to an associate.Giving thanks. This issue just would not be without the "go-to-it" attitude and approach of our Issue Editor, Laura Calloway. Laura is the Practice Management Advisor for the Alabama State Bar, our Finance Editor, the major force behind our coauthored Finance column and one of the most positive "how can I help" people that I have ever met. Speaking of "go-to-it" people, our editors, Editorial Board and the long list of writers have all contributed highly of themselves and their time. I am amazed at, and truly thankful for, all of their contributions, ideas and energy. They exemplify how all of us can benefit from sharing and teamwork!