Earlier this July Super Lawyers held its first ever social media giveaway. We asked our Facebook community to comment what they believed are the top three traits that exemplify outstanding lawyers, then selected one community member at random and sent them four Super Lawyers pub glasses. Lawyers from all over the country sent various answers, each sharing their opinion on what it takes to be an outstanding lawyer. Let's look at what some of the Super Lawyers Facebook community members had to say.
1. Being trustworthy and not just acting it
2. Saying no when needed. Eg. I need to refer that out because that is not within my area of competence. No I can't take you as a client for one reason or another.
3. Always try to improve. Legal skills. Client development skills.
- James Yang
1. Good research and communication skills
2. (timely) response to clients/ and the court
3. The passion and drive to be better / learn from others
- Elizabeth Roberts
1. The ability to see and argue both sides of a case or an issue
2. The ability to communicate effectively, both in speech and in writing
- Joyce Jones
1. Enjoys stress
2. Doesn't vacation
3. Despises math
- Lou Shapiro
The broad range of answers we received truly shows the diverse range of skills a lawyer must have to be considered outstanding. With that being said, we will continue to do giveaways throughout the summer, asking a new question and featuring a different product each time. Stay tuned to the Super Lawyers Facebook page for our next giveaway, more Super Lawyers pub glasses!
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Forming a professional network in the legal community is vital to developing new business at your firm. In the last quarter alone, 85%* of attorneys say they have referred clients to other attorneys, with 75%* saying they received referrals back.
Ask any small law firm attorney what their number one source of new clients is, and just about all of them will tell you it's referrals. Although the internet is the go-to resource for finding many products and services in today's technology driven world, when it comes to hiring a professional, good old word-of-mouth still has its place. This could be used again in the future.
Maybe it's because a relationship with a lawyer, realtor, accountant, or doctor is more intimate than say, a photographer. Or maybe it's because professional services are more serious in nature and require more trust from the relationship.
Whatever the cause, the effect is that referrals still continue to be the number one source of new client leads for many attorneys. So if you are in the business side of the legal industry, Super Lawyers Business Edition is a great source for standing out to referral sources -whether you wish to increase or simply maintain your network.
Super Lawyers Business Edition is an annual resource that serves as the go-to guide for 55,000+ executives with a focus on small companies this year who are in charge of making legal hiring decisions as well as 10,000 law firms nationwide. This magazine features a listing of all firms with 2015 Super Lawyers selectees in the following business practice groups: Business and Transactions; Construction, Real Estate and Environmental; Employment; Intellectual Property; and Litigation.
Don't just take it from us, hear what other attorneys have to say about Business Edition:
Super Lawyers Business Edition has replaced other lawyer rating services as my go to resource when seeking to refer clients outside my geographic area."
- "Advertising gives our firm national exposure...our brand is stronger because of the publication."
- "It has helped me to expand my practice by presenting my qualifications to a wider audience of potential clients and referral sources than I could ever have reached on my own."
To learn more or read the 2014 Super Lawyers Business Edition, visit http://www.superlawyers.com/about/business_edition.html.
Interested in advertising? Contact your Associate Publisher today.
*July 2015 Super Lawyers Attorney Referral Survey
Written by Jessica Tam
In our 2007 Texas Super Lawyers Magazine, antitrust attorney Allan Van Fleet added his name to the list of lawyers who became lawyers because of the example of Atticus Finch.
"I know it's a cliché," he said back then, "but I wanted to become a lawyer after I read To Kill a Mockingbird."
Now that Go Set a Watchman has been published, in which Atticus, 20 years later, espouses segregationist views and attends a Klan rally, how does Van Fleet feel about his inspirational hero?
He has a unique take.
"I haven't read Go Set a Watchman but have seen some of the headlines. ... Just taking it at absolute face value that Atticus, at the time he was in To Kill a Mockingbird, was a racist underneath it all, I'm going to put it out there that in some ways that makes him more heroic.
"If he was just innately a good person and he stood up and did what he knew was right, there it was; there are great people in the world who do things like that. But if there was ... prejudice in his heart, then in some ways he's more heroic to overcome that."
Van Fleet is in rural Kenya for the summer, teaching high school history and government at the Makhanga Hope Academy-which was built thanks to funds raised through his nonprofit, African Angels.
"I am the only white person for miles," he writes via email. "I am a curiosity to most kids in the high school and especially the primary school, where I am in the first grade to learn Swahili." He recalls a geography student asking him during a field trip, "'Mr. Allan, do you know how to use a shovel?' After the laughs and what not, she said, 'You know, we all think that white men don't know anything about manual labor. You all work in offices.' So there are assumptions everywhere. And I think the thing is to recognize it and rise above it."
He adds, "I think all of us, at one level or the other, are racist in the sense that we make distinctions and we see distinctions in people that are based on race. And we make presumptions and assumptions and judgments about people based on race, on location, on gender, on sexual orientation, and what have you. And the key, I think, is for us to frankly recognize that those tendencies can be inside of us and yet rise above them. I suggest Atticus did.
"The other thing I think is especially important-if Atticus is indeed a racist at the time of To Kill a Mockingbird-is that he taught a very different message to his children. ... One can teach one's children to think and act differently from one's own generation."
Van Fleet's history and government students after a debate on pressing issues in Kenya. They dubbed him Speaker of their House of Students, Sir Allan Van Fleet.