Completing your studies at a law school is the first golden step into your legal career. You now have the ball rolling, but you still need to put in work if you are to be a successful lawyer. It requires that you build and hone a specific skill set that sets you a cut above the rest. Let us take a look at some key competencies that will propel you to a successful law career.
Good oral and written communication skills
To be a good lawyer, you will need to possess excellent verbal and written communication skills. A lot of your work as a lawyer will involve writing. You will be required to draft documents, write letters to your clients, and draw up contracts.
You will also need to communicate orally as you express your thoughts and arguments before your clients, a court of law, etc. Well, you will need to practice writing and speaking to develop proper communication skills. It takes time, but with practice and experience, you will keep honing your communication skills, and that will give you an upper arm in the legal profession.
As a lawyer, you will constantly be dealing with your clients towards servicing their legal needs. The best lawyer is the one who is able to listen and take time to understand the individual concerns of your clients. As such, you should be able to engage people seeking your professional legal services and explain legal matters in layman language that they will understand. In short, you will be able to serve best as a legal practitioner if you invest in good people skills.
This essentially refers to the understanding of the business environment within which a law firm and clients operate. According to legal recruiters, law firms consider commercial awareness as one of the most significant elements a law aspirant should possess. Think of this way, awareness of recent events and development in the business world and the need to stay updated on relevant news stories certainly has an impact on legal practice.
That is why you need to enhance your commercial awareness by reading more about the law and business publications, listening to business-specific podcasts, etc. Basically, you ought to keep your eyes and ears open.
Research and preparation skills
You will struggle in the legal field if you do not know how to prepare. In fact, you will look very unprofessional to clients, your peers, and any other stakeholders. So, make a habit of dedicating time to prepare and use a variety of resources. For example, if you are preparing for a legal interview, you can use the law firm’s website, read the news, articles, and also press releases. This adds into your knowledge bank and makes you feel confident about yourself, and thus you will be able to handle legal matters more professionally.
As a lawyer, you will be faced with voluminous and sometimes incomprehensive documents. Your ability to keenly pore over the documents and identify the fundamental details is key. For example, it may be that you are looking for evidence to support your case, or even proofreading a contract where missing detail can affect the whole task. That is why being attentive to detail is necessary to stand out as a lawyer.
Standing out in the legal profession requires that you have the skills that will help you serve the interests of your clients better. Well, it is time to start honing the core skills that will steer you towards a successful law career.