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From New Lawyer to Published Expert

New lawyers should be on the lookout for ways to shed the somewhat stigmatic adjective “new.” When fellow lawyers and clients believe you are inexperienced, they have less confidence in your work product, and are less likely to give you the responsibilities you deserve. To help combat this stigma, new lawyers should be prowling for publishing opportunities. Publishing bestows on the author an automatic aura of expertise (no matter how well deserved). Readers believe that if you have written on a topic, you were probably hand selected because of your knowledge, and you must have spent countless hours researching and drafting the article. This makes you an authority, and readers will remember the article the next time they have a question on the subject. Ideally, they will call you, thereby expanding your network of colleagues and business referrals. You shouldn’t wait for publishing opportunities to just fall in your lap. You must be proactively looking for chances to write. You can submit editorials to newspapers, write for law journals (including the University of Baltimore Law Review and the University of Maryland Law Review), contact local bar associations to see if they need articles for their newsletters, or check with the state bar association to find out if they need help with their journals. If you are plaintiffs’ attorney, you can publish with plaintiffs’ bar associations, the American Association for Justice (on the national level) and the Maryland Association for Justice (on the state level). There are probably equivalent opportunities on the defense side (I wouldn’t know—I’m not allowed at their super-secret meetings). Of course, check with the Maryland Daily Record. But, what should you write about?

3 comments

  1. The best way to be regarded as an expert is to go on the internet, and blog that you are one.

  2. Great article John!

    Both seasoned and new members of Maryland Association for Justice (MAJ) are welcome to serve on the editorial committee of the Trial Reporter, the official publication of MAJ. Often members of our committee have several opportunities to write and edit article. We are always looking for fresh writers and ideas.

  3. The absolute best way is to be free with your advice to your peers. Let them know you are a willing and available source of quick answers for topics within your chosen areas. Be the one your friends can call when they are “stuck” on an issue.

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