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Conformity: A Necessity in Practicing Law Successfully
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conformity

Summary: Being able to successfully practice law with a major firm will require absolute conformity to the industries demands.

Law is one career that does not embrace individuality and creative whims. The legal profession expects and demands conformity from its members starting in the very beginning before law school. Those attorneys that wish to remain in the field at a top law firm will have to find a way of succumbing to the demands for conformity. Harrison Barnes addresses conformity in his article “Law Firms and Conformity.”

  
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Luckily for many attorneys, they have been conforming from a very young age so they don’t have to make many adjustments to how they already act. Many probably don’t even realize that they are conforming since it is such a big part of who they are.

Those that struggle with conformity will find that surviving in a major law firm may be difficult. At some point, they get tired of conforming and take a break from law to travel, spend time with family, try their hand at another career, etc. Some of these attorneys will try to come back to law after some time away but law firms are no longer interested in them because they are “nonconformists.”

Law firms are only interested in conformists because their business model relies on everyone working together as one to support it. Law firms have a lot of work that needs to be done for a lot of money. For the work to get done, everyone is expected to put in the same hours, following the same orders, and competing with one another to bring in more business. If an attorney strays from this path of conformity, the work does not get done so the money does not come in. This conforming includes how an attorney dresses and looks.

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Attorneys that tire from the demands of conforming learn that they need to find another option. Some move in-house or to alternate venues in order to keep practicing law but in a more sustainable environment for them. The fact is that no matter how hard some people try, they are not cut out to conform.

There is nothing wrong with adhering to conformity or not. Many professions also rely on conformity from their members, including accountants, doctors, military, and pretty much anywhere with a boss. With conformity all around, those wishing to be successful lawyers will have to face the facts and conform to the field. Conforming is necessary if the system is going to work. There can be great rewards received from conforming.

Do you think conforming is a necessity in practicing law? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about how to succeed in practicing law, read these articles:

Photo: flickr.com



 

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