When it comes to the ever-changing legal landscape, youth isn’t always associated with success. For some young lawyers, the industry is more exciting and dynamic than ever, with technology bringing about rapid change and new opportunities in the practice of law. For others, doubt has crept in when thinking about their path to success. Attorneys face extraordinary competition for a shrinking number of positions, record levels of law school debt and uncertainly about whether their ambitious career goals are realistic.
In an effort to highlight the accomplishments of young attorneys and give them a platform to distinguish themselves, Super Lawyers includes a separate list of attorneys in almost every state highlighting young attorneys – known as the Rising Stars list. This list is developed using the same patented multiphase selection process used for the Super Lawyers list except:
- To be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less.
- While up to 5 percent of the lawyers in a state are named to the Super Lawyers list, no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.
We recently sat down with an attorney selected to the 2015 North Carolina Rising Stars list, Patrick Roberts, and spoke with him about the value of his selection and advice he has for other young lawyers.
Roberts is the founding attorney of Roberts Law Group, PLLC, a criminal defense law firm with offices in Raleigh, Wilmington and Charlotte. He served as an Assistant County Attorney in three North Carolina jurisdictions before dedicating his practice to defending those accused of state and federal crimes throughout North Carolina, including drunk driving/DWI, drug charges, sex offenses, white collar crimes, domestic violence and other misdemeanor and felony charges.
How do you feel the distinction of being named to the Rising Stars list helps a young lawyer?
Roberts: “For me, when you’re starting out you’re looking for any little bit extra that will get you a second look from an employee or client,” says Roberts. “That’s what Super Lawyers and Rising Stars does – it gives you a way to distinguish yourself in the market.”
“Nowadays, I’m seeing it help my firm attract higher-end clients and higher-profile cases,” says Roberts. “We get 500-600 new client cases a year and we can definitely relate some of those back to the marketing efforts of Super Lawyers.”
Do you have any advice for lawyers just starting out in their career?
Roberts: “Find a mentor and be willing to learn. I had countless opportunities to sit ‘second chair’ in the courtroom and learn from senior attorneys.”
To find out more about the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars selection process and how to get involved, visit SuperLawyers.com/SelectionProcess.