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. This is something I see daily 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 that your legal career, like any business, needs to have a marketable product. Second, this article discusses your brand's importance in 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

To have a thriving business, you need to have a product or service that can be marketed and sold to people. Your business is what will ultimately sell the product. This product will need to be carefully managed throughout your career. Shortly into your legal career, you will begin developing a "brand" and taking on particular attributes that characterize your "brand."