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IBA: Taking the Next Steps on Your Career Path

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If you’re one of the many lawyers looking for a job or new direction, there are many resources available that can help you take the next steps along your career path.

One of the best things about a law degree is its versatility, and as you transition — or consider transitioning — to a new career — it’s important to remember the exceptional number of choices open to you.

You may want to explore going solo or you may want to set up a related business such as legal writing or research. You may want to do a lot of networking or you may want to use the Internet to find contract work while you determine what you want to do next.

For many lawyers, going solo is an option. There are many seminars and workshops offered on the subject. There is also a Sole/Small Firm Practice Section within the Indianapolis Bar to provide assistance for those considering these practice environments.

Indianapolis Bar Sole/Small Firm Practice Section Chair Kenan Farrell participated in a panel at last week’s Bench Bar addressing the need for a clear business plan when embarking on any career path, but most particularly a solo practice.

Jeff Meunier of the Indianapolis Bar’s Senior Counsel Division will be the featured speaker at an upcoming seminar, “So You Want to Hang Your Shingle”. Based upon a similar program offered last year, this CLE program will feature tips of interest to young lawyers seeking to launch their own practice independent of an established law firm. Registration is now open online at www.indybar.org.•

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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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