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What is My Brand?

By Maria L. Santos - Posted on 08 April 2015

When I left law school in 1988, I remember the Chief Justice of MA Supreme Court telling all the newly inducted attorneys that “law is a profession where a young lawyer can compete right along-side the seasoned lawyer and win.”  True!!!! As soon as you have that license in hand, you can hang up your shingle and practice law.  You are competing immediately with every other lawyer out there, some with more experience, some with less.  The one variable that distinguishes you from the rest, is YOU.

The lawyer is the brand.  What I bring is the person I have become and am becoming every day of my life.  I bring my counseling wisdom to the situation, my ability to organize and get things done, to see the problem from many different angles and then partnering with the client to implement the solutions that make sense for that client.  After all, law is about solving life’s problems.  It is also about anticipating and planning for what might happen in order to avoid problems to the extent possible.  Being a lawyer requires that you remain distant enough to guide someone through decisions and yet be fully present to the client.

The concept of “the lawyer” is evolving.  Today, there are computer programs that already perform some of the functions that lawyers used to be solely responsible for.  Will computers ever replace a lawyer?  I would suggest that for lawyers who bring themselves to the brand every day of their careers, there is no replacement possible.  The evolution of the practice of law means that the lawyers who will succeed are the ones who can counsel beyond what they read in case summaries.  Some attorneys fear being left out and without work as a result of this evolution.  I would suggest that the lawyers who do succeed are the ones who understand that having a “brand” is bringing the whole human being to work each day.