3rd December 2015; Mumbai: For young lawyers, today is the best of times. The legal industry is more exciting and dynamic than ever, with technology bringing about rapid change in the practice of law as well as new opportunities. Saurabh Rane talks about exploring the opportunities and challenges faced by young lawyers and how they are being leveraged and addressed, and some practical advice for achieving success.
Changes in the legal community, including client needs, put added pressure on today’s young lawyers to be not just a better attorney, but also a better business person. The need to practice law efficiently has increased, and there is an expectation that young lawyers will also perform community service and pro bono work as part of their overall job. There appears to be far more young attorneys competing for positions in a smaller pool of good opportunities. Over the last 20 years law school enrollment increased until the great recession thus creating a glut of licensed attorneys.
As for challenges, the bar has been raised in terms of the need to develop special expertise in your area of practice. You need to become a “must have” member of the client team. As for opportunities, the combination of baby boomer partners who will retire at some point in large numbers, and the void created by the hiring freezes of five years ago, creates leadership and client service opportunities for young lawyers who will be able to fill needs created by those two phenomena.
For many practices, there are client pressures to operate efficiently based on auditing and benchmarking. Combined with the refusal to engage young lawyers, it can make it more difficult for them to develop their skills. The slowdown in legal jobs in general means we can no longer bring in law clerks with the expectation they will stay for their entire careers. In fact, laterals today do not see their law firm as the place they will spend their career. If a young lawyer doesn’t give himself the chance to learn the ropes and build his practice within one organization, then it turns the concept of partnership sideways.
We are primarily trial lawyers so the change in landscape we have seen is many fewer opportunities to try cases. Young lawyers therefore have fewer opportunities to second/third chair trials, which we believe is invaluable experience.
There is a bit of a “new normal” that exists in terms of the attorney-client dynamic. Legal budgets are tighter; the demands for efficiency and value are (appropriately) at a very high level. Meeting these demands will be essential for lawyers providing client services going forward.
Advocates And Associates is a promising new law start-up based in Fort and led by lawyers like Adv. Saurabh Rane, Adv. Maroof Khan, Adv. Prashant Thombre and Adv. Roshan Thakur. With these four professionals coming together with varied background of successfully solved cases and an eye for detail, Advocates And Associates is surely the one to watch out for in the coming years.