Even as the number of women lawyers in the US is on the rise, they aren’t making it big yet. Fewer female lawyers are in the top roles, and there are pay disparities in the industry. Yet it is absolutely possible to beat the odds and compete with your male counterparts, provided you take the right approach. Many top female attorneys have tasted success, and they have some tried and tested strategies to share. Based on their experience, here is a woman lawyer’s guide to success.
Don’t Skimp on Skills
Skills make a successful legal professional, regardless of gender. The first piece of advice is to go the extra mile with your skills. Pick a domain of your choice and specialize in it. You need not settle for your comfort zone, and you can explore the ones traditionally male-oriented. It is also vital to stay ahead of the industry trends and upgrade your skills overtime to stay in the race with the male lawyers.
Start Networking Early
Networking drives growth in the legal industry, and it is even more important for female lawyers. Build a network early by being at the right places where you can connect with experts. Attending industry events gives you a good start. But if you want to strike gold, social media networking is the key. Join online communities and look around for work and recommendations.
Never Miss Out on Growth Opportunities
One of the biggest mistakes that women lawyers make is stagnating. You may have a plush job with a five-figure salary, but you should never miss out on growth opportunities. Keep looking for greener pastures. Stay in touch with law firm recruiters and enhance your CV with additional skills and accreditations. It is easy to be in a comfortable space, but you wouldn’t reach anywhere if you do not grow.
Find a Female Mentor
When it comes to making it big as a woman lawyer, having someone who has been there can help. Look for a successful female attorney to be your mentor. No one can understand the challenges and opportunities better. Seek guidance and inspiration from her, and you can reach places. She may even have some insider secrets to share, so find someone keen to help female professionals in the field. Even as you stick with a women mentor, you can look up to successful men too.
Maintain Work-Life Balance
A more practical piece of advice for aspiring women lawyers is to maintain your work-life balance. The legal field is known for its high-pressure environment, but you must not let it take a toll on your personal life. Investing in self-care is crucial to balance your role as a legal professional and homemaker. Take time off when you can because it will help you de-stress and come back stronger. Becoming a successful woman lawyer is challenging, but you can still achieve your goals. A good understanding of the industry, support from women like you, and a positive approach can help you unlock the secrets of success.