It is no secret that a young associate’s workload ebbs and flows. When navigating the floods and famines, planning, prioritization and partnership are all useful tools to have on hand. Whether your practice is health care, employment or general litigation, sharpening these three skills will help you traverse the landscape of the earliest days of your practice so you know exactly what to do when the wave hits.

If you are balancing multiple projects or assignments for different matters, or even one large assignment with many sub-facets, planning is key. Ranking your tasks in order of priority helps you set the stage for a plan of action. In doing so, it is helpful to work backwards from your deadlines to help inform the tasks and their timelines. Setting internal guidelines is also a great way to plan for success and hold yourself accountable. You should also think about the substance of an assignment. Ask yourself: is the task something relatively easy and procedural, or will it require more brain muscle? Partnering with your peers and superiors can also help to gain more information to make sure the plan is accounting for potential hiccups uncovered along the way.

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