Why a Law Degree is Actually a Business License: Why Attorneys Should Treat their Legal Careers Like a Small Business


The problem with attorneys and the legal profession in general is that no one seems to take the time to consider that the law is a business and that their careers are businesses as well. Be a good business person and your career may go far. Ignore the business realities and you are likely to run into trouble. I have been a legal recruiter for several years and have seen countless attorneys "go out of business" because they did not run their businesses well. In fact, this is something I see on a daily basis while reviewing resumes of out of work attorneys.

 
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
This article examines the following business realities of your legal career. First, I examine the fact that your legal career, like any business, needs to have a marketable product. Second, this article looks at the importance of your "brand" to marketing your product. Third, this article concludes by exploring how to market your product for the maximum possible success. While this article has been written specifically for attorneys, most of the material here also applies to individuals in other roles within the legal profession.

A. Your Legal Career, Like Any Business, Needs a Marketable Product

1. Early Product Qualities Will Determine How Much You Can Sell Your Product for and Where

Every business needs to have a marketable product in order to succeed. While businesses can sell all sorts of things, your business is going to be selling yourself. This is a product that will need to be carefully managed throughout your career. Shortly into your legal career, you will begin developing a "brand" and taking on your own particular attributes that will characterize your "brand."