What do you hope to achieve in the New Year? Whether you’re prepping for the bar exam, starting your career, or still in law school, consider making one (or all) of these New Year’s resolutions to ensure that this year is the most successful yet!
1. Stay Focused.
It’s easy to get sidetracked with each day’s responsibilities, especially when almost anything sounds more appealing than studying for hours on end. However, strive to maintain consistent focus on both your short and long-term goals, and each day will be another step closer to reaching them.
2. Network more.
Regardless of whether you are in the job search process or have had a steady job for years, networking is a key component to any legal career. You never know when one connection can provide you with advice, offer you a job, or introduce you to someone else significant in the field. Make it this year’s resolution to go out of your everyday routine once or twice a month to network and maximize your career opportunities. Your future self will thank you for it.
Did your professor ask you to prepare notes for an upcoming class discussion? Does your boss want you to carry out research for a case? Don’t settle for meeting the minimum requirements. Whatever the task, make it a goal to consistently go above and beyond what is expected of you to gain favor with your superiors, surpass your peers and ultimately advance your law career.
4. Find a mentor. Or, become one.
A mentor can be difficult to find, yet always proves to be an invaluable resource. This is especially true in the early stages of your legal career. A mentor can provide you with relevant advice, help expand your network and perhaps even keep you from making the same mistakes that they did. If you’ve graduated or are about to graduate from law school, you can also benefit from becoming a mentor to a first or second-year student. Not only is it a great way to feel positive about yourself by helping someone else, but you may be surprised at how much you can learn from your mentee’s experiences as well.
5. Learn a new skill to apply to your career.
Regardless of the stage of your legal career, learning a new skill is never a waste of time and can only benefit you in the long run. Perhaps you know how to work a computer but are not efficient at word processing, then refining your technology skills would benefit you. Or, if you are comfortable speaking to others but struggle with writing to communicate your ideas, you might seek out ways to improve your grammar. Whatever the skill, be sure that it can assist you in reaching your long-term goals, then commit to mastering it this year.
6. Seek out real-world applications.
What better way to learn the law than to make it relevant to your life? Findings show that creating meaning through association, compared to memorization, forms stronger chemical pathways in the brain and thus promotes long-term memory. Instead of relying on textbooks for information, learn more actively this year by applying new law concepts to everyday events, from the news to interactions with others.
7. Maintain a positive outlook.
Having a law career is far from easy. With so much to do in seemingly so little time, it can be difficult to stay positive and upbeat. Make a resolution to remind yourself, in those moments, of all the reasons that motivated you to become a lawyer in the first place. Hard work really does pay off, and you are no exception.
8. Keep organized.
Recent studies indicate that a well-organized environment promotes healthy food choices and structured work, whereas a messy environment promotes creativity and innovation. This means that, unless your job is to create the next Mona Lisa, striving to stay organized will help you to remain healthy and focused on your career throughout the New Year.
9. Master your MBE weakness.
If you are taking the bar exam this year, make it your mission to target your weakest subject and master it. Ultimately, overcoming your toughest obstacle through your bar review course and MBE prep will give you more confidence and ultimately help boost your exam score. If you aren’t taking the MBE in the New Year, you can still choose a law concept or subject that challenges you and make it a goal to thoroughly understand it.