On "Love Your Lawyer" Day, we asked Super Lawyers selectees why they chose to become attorneys. After all, the legal realm can be a challenging field, and it certainly isn't for everyone. Attorneys who have been selected for Super Lawyers have risen not only to meet these high expectations, but have gone above them, too, so their responses promised to be illuminating. In the responses we received, we saw two significant trends emerge.
The first: legal work is a good fit for intellectually curious, zealous personality types.
"My Dad started a debate with me daily," quipped Super Lawyers selectee Amy Wirtz of Wirtz Legal Solutions LLC in Cleveland. "It was a natural path."
Wirtz seems to be one of the many people who realized they could best channel their natural competitiveness, drive and desire to uncover the truth into only one profession. Many lawyers evidently discovered they liked learning and wanted to do something where their command of a particular subject would be rigorously put to the test. In some people, the adversarial nature of legal proceedings stokes the fire and helps bring out their best.
Super Lawyers selectee Janet Nina Esagoff of The Siegel Law Firm in New York City said she became an attorney because she sought "intellectually and emotionally satisfying work." Her comments exemplified the second key theme, many people who eventually became lawyers wanted a job that challenged their minds, and many feel a great sense of emotional satisfaction and fulfillment when they know they have helped a client. There are not many roles outside that of a counselor that allow people to feel like they have successfully served as a strong advocate.
That isn't to say attorneys go into this line of work expecting every day to be sunny. Rather, it means they are fulfilled by the highlights of what everyone acknowledges can be a difficult profession.
"Not every day feels happy in our profession," said Super Lawyers selectee Maya Shulman of Shulman Family Law Group in Calabasas, Calif. "But on the days when it does, it's a great day!"
For the past year both Super Lawyers and FindLaw have been advocating about the value of being proactive when it comes to managing your reputation online. Now there's more proof to that claim.
According to a new survey from FindLaw and Super Lawyers, 87 percent of American consumers say they trust online reviews to help them choose which local businesses or services will receive their hard-earned dollars. Online reviews are an increasingly common way for people to both learn from other customers and leave comments about their own experiences. Reviews can be found for everything from restaurants and stores to finding a professional, such as a lawyer or doctor.
Trust of online reviews is especially high among Millennials and Gen X'ers (those between the ages of 18 and 51), since 91 percent of them say they trust online reviews. That compares with 83 percent of baby boomers.
So what's the best way to assert your firm in this growing marketplace? When it comes to generating a pool of reviews, a helpful approach is to ask your past and current clients. You should inform the client that the feedback they provide will help to address any shortcomings in your service and improve your practice. But be sure to avoid influencing or coaching clients you want feedback from. Keep it simple and encourage them to describe what working with you as an attorney was truly like.
To learn the full story on why consumers deem reviews so valuable and how law firms can leverage them, download the latest Super Lawyers playbook Building Real Trust in a Virtual World: An Attorney's Guide .