If You want to be successful in the field of law you ought to possess certain skill set. In this blog post, we enlist for you the core lawyer skills that you will need, and also suggest how exactly you can work on them.
By no means exclusive to law, the ability to work in a team is essential to any job across verticals. When in a team, the basic skills of respect and empathy become essential and those who lack the ability to listen and take on board the opinions of others will find themselves out of step.
If people enjoy working with you, they will want to do so again and recommend you to others. This, undoubtedly, is the best way to progress in your career.
How to develop this skill: Getting involved in Group presentations , activities , academic clubs and societies at school, college and university levels are a great way to have fun and make friends and you will gain valuable teamwork skills without even noticing it!
- Initiative & Independence
While teamwork is fundamental to success, it is also essential that you should be decisive when the situations demands .
As a trainee lawyer, you will be given responsibility and you must rise to that, devising your own solutions to problems rather than relying only on others. That does not mean that you must struggle alone – taking initiative includes the ability to know when to ask questions or to ask for help.
How to develop this skill: This is a skill that can be developed at any point; hence, think about a time when you have had to make a difficult decision on your own, whether it be due to coursework or a conversation with a friend.One must take part in his academic journey in allied activities apart from classroom participation as this will help you when you enter the professional world.
- Creative Problem Solving Approach
People often consider law as a profession devoid of creativity, but the opposite holds true. The answer to a client’s problem may not be obvious and your job will be to explore new avenues, arguments and ideas to achieve the desired result.
How to develop this skill: Work experience of any kind will work wonders in developing problem solving skills – and it needn’t only be in the legal field. Problems are unavoidable at all stage of life – and the more experience you have of the art of dealing with the issues which arise, the better prepared you will be.
- Written Communication Skills
As a lawyer, a lot of your work will involve writing. And, this is unavoidable. You will draft documents, write letters to clients, draw up contracts among other things.
Typos and Grammatical errors will impair your work, while a fluent and articulate writing style will give clients confidence in you.
How to develop this skill: You will naturally develop your own writing style as you write essays for school, college or university. It may also help to get some practice writing in school or college magazines, Journals or even running your own blog!
- Verbal Communication Skills
If you are hoping to become a Lawyer , then verbal communication is perhaps the most vital element of your job. Your role is to communicate your arguments in such a way as to persuade the judge and the opponet of your case.
It is something you can not be avoided . Client meetings, phone calls and presentations will make up your day to day affairs.
How to develop this skill: Speaking in public is something that most of the people struggle with but there are all sorts of ways to practice and combat this fear. Getting involved in theatre or debating will develop skills like projection and pace, while techniques such as meditation can help deal with nerves.Do take part in Conference and seminars during college life to polish your presentation skills.
- Art to Deal With Working Under Pressure
A legal career is by no means an easy one and you will often be expected to turn around large amounts of work under tight deadlines. Hence, being able to stay calm and focused is critical.
How to develop this skill: Setting yourself personal deadlines before the official ones will ensure that you will complete tasks on time. But, you should also factor in time to handle any issues which may arise.
It is suggested that you make timetables and plans so you are able to manage your time effectively and can prioritize the most important tasks. These are all tricks you can practice on essay deadlines too!
- Commercial Awareness
Commercial awareness crops-up everywhere and it essentially means having a broad understanding of current affairs and business news and how developments of the surrounding are likely to affect the legal profession.
How to develop this skill: While it seems intimidating, it is actually simple to gain this knowledge by reading articles and opinions from a wide range of news sources.
The tip here is to follow a few reputable media outlets on social media so that, as you are browsing Facebook and Twitter, you are also being kept well-informed.
- Understanding People
Lawyers first and foremost are providing a service to their clients and your practice should be geared towards their needs. This involves listening and taking time to understand their individual concerns.
It is rare that clients will have a detailed knowledge of the law. That is why they come to you. So, it is also critical that you are able to explain matters in terms they understand rather than using overly technical language.
How to develop this skill: The more work experience you can get facing customers and dealing with people in any capacity, the better you will be at listening and adapting your communication style to suit everyone.
- Attention to Details
A lawyer will always be confronted with large and sometimes unclear documents. Therefore, the ability to spot key pieces of information is essential. It may be that you are looking for evidence to support your case or proof reading a contract where missing a detail can derail the whole task.
How to develop this skill: Take your time when reading documents, work on staying focused – these are all the skills you can pick up simply from reading books or articles!
- Research Skills/Preparation
Nothing looks more unprofessional than lack of preparation, and it will always weaken your position. So, dedicate time to preparation and use a variety of resources. If you are preparing for an interview, for example, use the firm’s website, but also read news articles and press releases.
Using a range of sources will not only broaden your knowledge but will also ensure you have the full picture.
How to develop this skill: Research, like anything, takes practice and the more you do it, the more streamlined and efficient your searches will become.