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April 24, 2020 2 minutes to read · 500 words

Building a Practice: Mastering the Art of Self-Promotion for Diverse Lawyers

By Amar Raval

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Picture this scenario: You are a young lawyer in your fourth year at a mid-size firm. You attend a networking event, where a lawyer who has been with a prominent local firm for 25-plus years is being honored for his legal contributions and high-profile successes. The crowd is full of lawyers well into their careers, and you recognize their names from high-profile cases, newspaper articles, bar association leadership events, and maybe even local commercials. How can you possibly feel that you fit in with this group?

Many times, diverse lawyers can feel like they are swimming out of their depth when they attend these kind of events. They may feel that they do not know the “right” people or lack the sort of longtime connections that others seem to have with well-connected and prominent lawyers. So, what can a diverse lawyer do to master the art of self-promotion? Here are a few tips:

  1. Be confident. If you are not comfortable in your own skin, it will be obvious to everyone you meet. You must know who you are and how valuable you are. Each one of us has something that no one else in the world has. That uniqueness extends to our legal career as well. Know your value.
  2. Be active on social media. These days, anyone who is not active on social media is missing a golden opportunity to speak to an ever-growing audience. It’s free, so why not take advantage?
  3. Get out there and network. While it’s all too easy to post updates on social media, there will never be a substitute for in-person communication. Given our society’s technological advances, it is likely to become an even more important skill in the years to come. Find new people and talk to them every time you are at a networking event.
  4. Share your achievements. You have your own career successes. Maybe it’s a big win on summary judgment that keeps your client’s extra-contractual claims alive for a jury. Maybe you got a case dismissed early in the pleadings stage. Maybe you helped a more experienced lawyer pick a jury that got a good result for the client. Maybe you were asked to speak in front of a group of your peers. Whatever it is, you have to learn to share your accomplishments with others in a way that conveys your ability without seeming like bragging. Social media is one way to do so. Blog posts on your firm’s website are another way. But most importantly, remember to update the people who you know when you meet them in person. The next time you are at a networking event and meet someone new, find a way to share one recent accomplishment of yours in the natural flow of conversation. You never know how it will help.

Self-promotion is a skill that helps everyone, and the law is a service-oriented industry. Whether individuals or entities, our clients always have a human face. The more comfortable we are interacting with others and sharing our skills, the more success we ultimately will have. So, get out there, meet some new people, and let them know who you are!

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Amar Raval is a partner at Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval LLP in Houston, Texas. He represents individuals in cases against insurance companies in both state and federal court.

Published in GPSolo eReport, Volume 9, Number 9, April 2020. © 2020 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the American Bar Association or the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.