Most people are looking to get ahead on the job, and attorneys and other legal professionals are no different.

lawyers in class

But there are certain behaviors that can work to the detriment of those in the legal field and delay or destroy their chances of advancement.

Robert Half Legal outlines five particularly neglectful behaviors that can be damaging to a career in law in the long term – and what to do about them.

1. Missing deadlines Missing an important deadline can be devastating to a case, as well as to a career in the legal field – whether you’re a lawyer, a paralegal, a legal assistant or other legal professional. It’s crucial to maintain a meticulous calendar and never to miss a deadline.

2. Not asking for challenging assignments If you always avoid the tough assignments, you’ll never prove to your boss what you can do – or stretch yourself enough to improve. Rather than turning your back on the next difficult assignment, step up to the plate. To advance, you have to be willing to take risks.

3. Not continuing to educate yourself One of the fastest ways to become obsolete is to quit learning. Constantly search for continuing educational opportunities, read journals and attend conferences to stay on top of the latest developments in the legal profession.

4. Falling behind in technology Embrace new technologies that are revolutionizing the profession – from eDiscovery to electronic case management to e-billing – or you may get left behind. Many clients are sophisticated when it comes to technology, and they will expect you to be too.

5. Not having a mentor Many attorneys seek out an established professional to help guide them in their legal careers. It is one of the most effective ways to advance. If you don’t have a mentor, seek out someone whose career you admire, and ask if he or she would be willing to mentor you.