As an established attorney in the arena of commercial business law, Paul Evan Greenwald has worked with people at every stage of their law careers. He knows that when students first enter law school, they have many preconceptions of what their areas of specialty will be, which is why practical experience like internships are so important. As with many professions, the daily life of a lawyer is rarely what students envision, and as they gain more hands-on experience, they are better able to see the many opportunities their futures contain.
If you’re working toward to law degree, here’s some advice from a veteran of a successful commercial law practice:
- First and foremost, take every opportunity to clerk or intern you can. When you actually see the inner-workings of a specialty in practice, you learn even more about yourself and the type of environment in which you will thrive.
- Remember that 99 percent of practicing law occurs outside of the courtroom, which is why real-life experience can better help you understand how you want to build your career. For example, commercial law issues are just as often about deal-making as deal-breaking. We often see legal processes as inherently adversarial, but in commercial law, many of the cases are collaborative. Paul Greenwald particularly enjoys these types of cases, because their constructive goals encourage positive relationships.
- Continuing education is not just about maintaining your license requirements; you will need carefully selected options that further your knowledge-base. For example, changes and advances in technology directly affect business law affairs, so you will need to stay abreast of them to best serve your clients.
- Building a successful, trusted practice is as much about your community image as it is about performance. You want to build relationships with colleagues, network, and create a brand that represents competency and trust.
About Author: As a successful commercial law attorney in California, Paul Greenwald is passionate about sharing his experiences with students and graduates. He believes that the future leaders of our profession will continue to serve our community and carry on the legacy of excellence.