Whether you have been through higher education and achieved the stature of your desired position to open your own firm, or are currently still currently training in a set of specific laws to land that dream role, getting that position is often a progressive and educational journey but to be successful in Law, you may need extra skills to help your career transition.
Resilience and Self-Confidence
Anyone who seeks a career in law must be able to demonstrate their commitment through relevant career positions or work experience and remember that when it comes to standing out from the crowd, passion, determination, and enthusiasm go a long way, as does with having resilience and confidence in their own abilities.
Some people seeking a career are often overwhelmed by difficulties in securing a training contract or pupillage. This is a constantly challenging career and it won’t be for everyone. The industry is built on formality and discipline. Have the confidence to apply and re-apply if necessary but always try to seek feedback.
Have Commercial Awareness
After all, legal firms are still businesses and when they are recruiting for new employees; candidates must show enough commercial awareness, which is considered as one of the most important attributes a candidate can have. This basically means having trending and other key information or knowledge of current developments in local, national and world business, particularly any issues that may impact a law firm and its customers and clients.
Legal firms expect their employees to market business services to prospective clients, as well as develop trusting relationships with ongoing ones. A client, meanwhile, will expect their lawyer to fully understand how their business is run, and which wider social, political and economic issues may affect them. If applicable, lawyers must also appreciate the short, medium and long-term implications of their client’s business proposal, and think strategically about the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This enables the lawyer to provide pragmatic, business-minded legal advice to the best of their ability.
As a practicing legal professional, you will have to work alongside a variety of people from other professionals, clients, customers, and colleagues. More often than not, when it comes to winning a case, it will be the result of a team effort.
Solicitors will need to collaborate with colleagues and partners within the firm, as well as liaise with clients or customers. Or even barristers need to keep close working relationships with their clerks and will often work high-profile cases with other barristers. The ability to work as part of a team is, therefore, a very essential skill to have, and part of this is honing onto communication to collaborate with people from all levels of the legal hierarchy, not just the social and commercial industries, but from trainees and pupils to members of the judiciary and Courts.
Having both strong oral and written communication skills are an essential skill for any legal profession in fact, without them, you’ll struggle to carry out even the simplest of the duties of a solicitor effectively. Having excellent listening capabilities is also an important skill when working with clients, as you need to be able to build and keep relationships.
You will be expected to be a confident speaker when arguing a case in court, and be confident in your abilities to real off acts and figures. Negotiating settlements and explaining complex information to clients is the basics of the role so you need to make sure you have the ability to do this professionally and confidently.
You’ll have to use persuasive, clear and adapted language. Public speaking is also a requirement in many of the legal roles available such as barrister. A good way to develop this skill is to volunteer as the spokesperson in group activities or get involved in debate teams alongside your studies.
Written ability is just as important when drafting letters and legal documents for almost every legal role. You will be expected to know and produce technical and legal language and be able to convey it not only clearly but concisely. Try getting involved right from your education levels by taking involved in your universities law society. You could take meeting minutes, draft emails, write newsletters on a volunteer basis.
High Attention To Detail
In order to succeed in the legal world professionally, you need to have a high level of attention to detail. Accuracy is the backbone of any legal department. A single word out of place can be detrimental by changing the meaning of a clause or contract, while misspelled or ungrammatical emails, letters or documentation can give clients a bad impression, costing you and your firm to fix.
If you’re applying for roles within a legal role it is more important than ever to make sure the details are correct. Employers will rarely accept an application with spelling mistakes, bad punctuation, and grammatical errors even if everything else is superb.
If you want to improve your attention to detail it may be worth providing services as a volunteer for proofing reading to student publications such as newsletters and magazines, it will put you in good practice for paying extra attention to your own work.
Research And Analysis
Often finding and reading through large amounts of information, documents and evidence is a key area that a legal role will be involved with. Whether you’re an injury attorney, family lawyer or paralegal you will most likely be expected to absorb facts, figures and analyze materials into something manageable for presentation.
The key is being able to clearly identify what is relevant and what isn’t needed out of the mass of information and explain it clearly to your client or sometimes in court. You could practice this skill by reading large documents and trying to bullet point the key facts and important themes.
Not only will you have to look through the documentation you will often be expected to research too. It can be a big part of a lawyers day-to-day job role. You need to make sure you hone your research skills and develop this area.
These are a few ways that you can develop a career in a legal profession, do you have any other skills that would be important for this type of role? Please share them in the comments section below.