What Skills are Needed in Law & Legal Education?
Not everyone’s suited to the fast paced nature of the legal profession. You need to be good at so many things! But what are the most important skills crucial to success?
You need to be the jack of all trades really. The following top 8 list is what we think the most important skills are for people interested in a job in law.
Do you have what it takes? These skills are also needed for studying law academically.
8- Great Research Skills
You’re not expected to know everything. But you are expectd to be able to find out the things that you don’t know. This is where legal research is key. You need to be able to quickly, accurately and thoroughly research a topic or case. You need to use all tools at your disposal for this like using technology, reading books, or even consulting experts.
7 – Expert Computer User
Technology makes our life easier. Especially in law. If you can quickly find out legal information online without having to go to the library you can save hours. It can make pretty much all other areas of your job much easier if you have a full understanding of computers and technology. Knowing little tricks in relation to using software or websites can really impress others and allow you to make better use of your time.
6 – Commercially Aware
Depending on you job being commercially aware is either quite important or very important. If you hope to be partner in a firm one day you must be very commercially aware. This means you understand the basics of how businesses work, how fluctuations outside your control can influence supply and demand and being able to spot new niches in the market in which legal services could be required.
5 – Good Speaker
This is especially important if you’re thinking of being a barrister or solicitor advocate. You need to be able to put forward your arguments in a clear and logical way. You could have the best, well researched and logical argument in the world, but if you can’t express it properly it’s worth nothing. For other roles in the legal profession being a good speaker is of course necessary for your interaction with clients.
4 – Team Player
You can’t do everything alone. Your colleagues will count on you, and you will count on them almost daily. Only working as a team can you be successful. Just think about some of the massive legal projects you could be a part of. No single person does everything. Every single person in a firm could be involved. From the receptionists to the partners it’s likely that everyone will have a hand in the success of a project.
3 – Leadership Skills
Being a great leader you need to be able to listen to others and know when to delegate a task. You need to know what your colleagues are good at and be able to inspire others to take action and follow your every word. You need to inspire trust in those you are leading and support them through the good and bad. Leadership skills are important in all areas of the legal world but especially for those who aim to take a leading role within a firm.
2 – Critical Thinker
The ability to rationally and logically assemble great arguments is a very important skill to have. Anyone can read and understand a case. But logically putting together the key details of a case to create a sound argument can really set you apart. If your argument is good enough there’s sometimes no way others can disagree with you! This is not only a good skill to have in a debating situation, but also in getting your point across clearly to your colleagues.
1 – Hard Worker
Yes we know it’s a little generic but being a hard worker really is the most important skill! Without it you won’t get anywhere in the legal world. The training, dedication and work load required in all legal jobs is absolutely massive and if you’re not prepared to put in the hours then it’s not the right job for you. But if you are prepared to go the extra mile you can achieve anything. The sky really is the limit. Firms are always on the look out for hard working individuals who can one day become partners in the firm, or legal assistants who have the potential to be great solicitors.