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How I got my start: My advice for new attorneys

May 10, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

The question of how to differentiate yourself from the thousands of lawyers in your market is more important than ever before

Advice for young law school students

How can you possibly distinguish and differentiate yourself in an overcrowded legal market, where the supply is greater than the demand, and where the competition is more fierce than ever before?

And how can you possibly do this as a new lawyer, competing against lawyers with decades more experience than you? I was recently invited to publish a post with my advice for new lawyers on Lawyernomics, an Avvo blog that focuses more on the business of law.

Here’s the full article:

My Advice for New Lawyers: Learn to Be a Trial Lawyer

I love the law, and I love being a lawyer.  But that puts me in a distinct minority of practicing lawyers. The economic pressures of being a lawyer today, starting with often crushing law school debt, and then crushing hours and little personal time are all well-known.

More hidden from new lawyers, or at least students applying for law school, is just the  basic supply and demand of the legal profession today: what do you do when the supply of lawyers is greater than the demand?  What do you do when the volume of competition has reached levels never seen before in most American markets?

The answer to me was to teach myself to be a great trial lawyer.  No matter how many lawyers there are – and there are a lot – there are very few real trial lawyers anymore.  This applies to every practice area of law, but it is especially true of personal injury lawyers.

It’s funny, the “great” lawyers in divorce or business litigation mostly haven’t tried a case in years, sometimes decades.  They are very good litigators (and often very good billers), but they aren’t trial lawyers.  I’ve always thought if the insurance companies push tort “reform” so hard that I can’t practice personal injury law, I could always do extremely well as a divorce lawyer or business litigation lawyer who takes cases to trial.

The lawyers on the other side wouldn’t know what to do.  But most of all, I wanted to help new lawyers.  I truly believe law is a noble profession, not a business, and it is an honorable life spent helping others.

So in this guest post for AVVO, I share my own personal experiences and knowledge on how I came to be an injury lawyer known for helping people severely injured in auto accidents and truck accidents, and how I got to where I am today. It wasn’t glamorous.  It often wasn’t fun. It was a lot of hours and sacrifice.

But if it all ended tomorrow, it would be worth it.

Related information:

Top 10 tips for students and future injury lawyers

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