Career Managing Self

Navigating the Early Years of Practice

Written by Allison Wolf

The first years of a lawyer’s career are some of the toughest. These years aren’t only an important time for honing legal skills, they are also essential for navigating into areas of practice and ultimately a firm or organization that aligns with interests, values, and goals.

It is a rare associate who will land their first job at their forever firm or practice area. It is often a process of learning about what works and doesn’t and taking steps to move the practice to where it needs to be.

My recent article in SLAW offers a list of coaching questions and five caveats to help junior associates with navigating their careers in their initial years of practice. The questions revolve around how you relate to your work and what aligns you with your values. As for the caveats? I discuss stressors, mindset, and some myths about making shifts in your legal career.

Read the full article, click here.

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.

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