When it comes to practicing law, some JDs are soldiers and others are generals.
Some prefer to take orders, while others would rather give them.
Neither is right or wrong. Neither is better than the other. But for career advancement and life satisfaction, it pays to know which category you’re in.
“ At each step of your career, you need to embrace the role that is expected of you as either a soldier or general and excel at it,” says legal recruiter Harrison Barnes. “Every attorney I speak with is either one or the other, and the attorney is happy or unhappy depending on his or her ability to be one or another.”
Barnes – who does a weekly free Q&A webinar on law careers – says that to succeed at a law firm, an attorney must first be a good soldier and transition to being a general.
“If an attorney tries to be a general before it is time, the attorney typically gets crushed and has an unsatisfying career—the attorney never reaches his or her full potential in the practice of law,” writes Harrison Barnes here. “If an attorney remains a soldier and does not transition to being a general—the attorney will have an unsatisfying career and not reach his or her full potential either.”
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