Change is the only constant, or so the axiom goes. Nowhere is that more true than the transformation of the legal industry over the past decade. Like other industries, mergers have become commonplace as firms seek out ways to provide a broader and more efficient range of services. BlackBerrys and laptops have made us portable — they are now indispensable tools, considering that clients are just as likely to be in Shanghai as they are in Los Angeles. And firms increasingly find themselves competing for clients through rigorous RFP processes even as they work harder to forge stronger, deeper relationships with core clients.

These changes are particularly exciting for me as they began occurring near the time I made partner nine years ago. Today’s young associates don’t know any other world, yet while nearly all of the Am Law 100 law firms provide fertile training grounds for the practice of law, fewer adequately prepare associates for the actual business of law. Below are some lessons I’ve learned over the past 15 years that can help associates thrive in the corporate firm environment.

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