Even if you aren’t making a move yet, you should always be updating your list of representative matters list or deal sheets.
Odds are you know you should have an updated resume, but do you know you should update your representative matters list or deal sheet regularly?
As an attorney, it’s important to keep a record of important matters you work tirelessly on. Whether you are a transactional attorney or a litigator yours should be current.
For the purpose of this blog, we will refer to both as a deal sheet.
When you’re applying for a job as an attorney, one of the most important things you need to do is demonstrate your experience. Potential law firms want to know that you have the skills and knowledge to handle the types of cases they work on. A deal sheet is a great way to demonstrate your experience in a particular area of law.
Right now you might not have any interest in searching for a new opportunity, but eventually, you may. Updating your deal sheet consistently throughout your career is best practice.
Check out our recommended tips for the ideal deal sheet:
- First and foremost, be careful with ensuring no confidential information is included. The general rule of thumb is if a matter is public, then you should be okay.
- If you have concerns or doubts, you can list things generically without disclosing a client’s identity such as “large pharmaceutical company” or “nationwide insurance carrier” etc.
- Details are important while maintaining confidentiality.
- If a matter is interesting, has complicated legal issues, and the size of a transaction be sure to include those details.
- Organization is paramount. Deal sheets aren’t restricted to page limits, feel free to categorize matters or deals thoughtfully.
- Litigators can separate general litigation from arbitrations, bankruptcy, or other specific areas.
- Corporate attorneys can separate corporate governance matters, M&A deals, etc.
Why you should care about updating your regularly and their advantages:
- Helps you remember important details.
- As an attorney, you work on many different matters or transactions throughout the year. Some may be straightforward, others can be quite complex. Jotting down the details of each will memorialize them accurately then recalling from memory or looking back through old case notes.
- Provides a basis for performance evaluations.
- Even if you aren’t searching for a new opportunity, your deal sheet can help you in your current role. By listing out the key details of your most important transactions, you can show the partners that you have been actively working on meaningful cases and contributing to the success of the law firm.
- Identifies areas for development in your practice.
- As you review your deal sheet over time, you may notice there are certain areas where you have more experience than others. This can help you identify areas where you may want to focus if possible in your current law firm.
Oftentimes new opportunities can arise without warning. When yours is updated regularly you can ease the stress of needing to compile something quickly.
Now it’s time to update yours!