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How your significant other can help your career

Richard Adams

Richard Adams

My husband, Brian Thompson, wanted to provide some insight as to how the spouses of lawyers can help maximize marketing and networking opportunities for their significant others. Brian is an assistant general Counsel at Merkle:

This post is for the reading pleasure of spouses, partners and the significant others (let’s just say spouses) of lawyers. I know you want to support your spouse and to help him or her be a successful lawyer, so I want to pass along a few ideas.

(For full disclosure, I am a lawyer married to a lawyer. To answer your first question, we do not discuss legal theories at the dinner table.)

First, know your spouse’s area(s) of practice. For example, does he or she practice family law, bankruptcy law, medical malpractice, criminal defense or something else? While most lawyers have a general knowledge of the law, no lawyer knows everything about every practice area. While my spouse can skillfully use “testamentary trust” in a sentence, I probably know what any non-lawyer knows about
it.

Ask your spouse to describe the kind of law he or she practices, and do not let them use a bunch of legal jargon. The goal of this conversation with your spouse is for you to be able to explain to non-lawyers what your spouse does.

Second, know whether or not your spouse needs or wants to have new clients. For many lawyers, providing legal services to people or organizations is the heart of their practice. If your spouse is open to having new clients, you can support his or her career.

Suppose that your spouse practices family law and one of your co-workers tells you that he or she is looking for a divorce attorney. By connecting your co-worker and your spouse, you have the power to help both. That’s why I keep a small supply of my spouse’s business cards in the glovebox of my car.

Third, when you can, go with your spouse to events and activities hosted by the legal community. You’ll be able to meet and network with other spouses of lawyers, and your engagement with the legal community will reflect well on your spouse. For those of us who do not excel at making small talk, and those of us who are introverts, this can be a challenging commitment. The investment of your time and
energy will help your spouse build and sustain his or her legal practice.

My spouse and I would love to hear what ideas you have for supporting the most important lawyer in your life!

Richard Adams is an associate with Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP in Baltimore.

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