Legal Career Resources

Attorneys Need Credibility to Be Successful
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Summary: Attorneys wishing to be successful in their career cannot lose their credibility and trustworthiness with others in the industry.

Credibility is an important factor in an attorney’s career. Where they went to law school, law firms they have worked for, or their commitment to the law will not matter if an attorney cannot be trusted. “Credibility and Your Legal Career” discusses how credibility affects an attorney’s ability to be successful in the industry.

  
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Harrison Barnes estimates that at least 10 percent of all legal careers end because an attorney does something “dishonest or not credible.” A law firm will not hire an attorney if they don’t believe they can be trusted. Dishonest actions are not just the big ones like stealing from a client or lying in court. They can be even small things like lying about graduating top of their law school class or having certain connections that do not exist.

An attorney who messes up their credibility will not be able to escape that damage to their reputation. An attorney that wants to be successful in their career can never lie. Eventually their lies will be exposed and people will no longer trust them, give them work, or want to work with them.

Imagine how a client will feel if they learned their attorney lied to them. Imagine how a partner will feel knowing an associate lied to them. Once either of these parties and anyone else involved learns that an attorney failed to notify them of the truth of a situation, they will remove the attorney from the matter. Withholding information or remaining silent on any level will cause serious long-term damage to an attorney’s career.

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Credibility also involves doing what you say you will and not cutting corners in the process. An attorney that says they will do something is committing to it. To not do so is breaking a commitment, thus no one will believe the attorney next time they claim they will get something done. Attorneys cannot cut corners in the process of getting something done they are entrusted with.

The legal industry is extremely competitive. There will always be another attorney to replace one that loses credibility with their employer and clients. An attorney that believes they have to lie to get to the top will not make it because they will burn too many bridges along the way. While the road may be longer and harder, an attorney that remains honest in their dealings will eventually make it to the top because others will trust them and want to work with them. An attorney without work will not get far.

Do you think attorneys are able to get away with lying? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about what attorneys need to be successful, read these articles:

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