Countries aren’t made in a day, neither are lawyers. A lot of hard work, sweat, and grime go into making a career in law. If you’re a lawyer it’s not just the knowledge and expertise that you need but also soft skills and the art of marketing yourself. If you want to be a cut above the rest, yaou need to polish your social skills and learn to read into non-verbal communication. You have nothing to worry about, it is not very difficult starting out; just have to keep a couple of things in mind till you form a habit. It takes just 66 days for a behavior to become a habit so persevere! Presentation as a lawyer will take you a long way. What are the key skills that as a lawyer, you absolutely must have?
- Verbal communication
This is the most fundamental skill for a legal professional. As a professional, you will communicate with clients and other lawyers. This is the most potent skill you can develop as a lawyer. Mastering legal terminology as a lawyer will set you apart from the rest too.
- Written communication
Drafting, filing and documenting cases is a daily routine and polishing your written skills will give you a boost in your career. Not only writing effectively but mastering the rules of English will make your drafting more impressive too.
- Skills for Technology
The use of technology is permeating even into the legal world and changing how lawyers function. Mastering word processing, practice-related and presentation related software makes your work easier and more efficient. Software for communication and money transfers will facilitate ease of business for you too. Rest assured that most software you use (especially banking) is safe from fraud (provided that you have checked the authenticity). Keep abreast of all the advancements taking place in the legal front periodically upgrade your skills.
- Legal Research
Law is all about research. In every case, you’ll have to research intensively on the laws that apply to it. Developing efficient research skills as a lawyer will equip you to be one of the best in your profession. Oftentimes than not, since you’re pitted against another lawyer, your research may fall short. For example, According to Anna Agosti from PreszlerLawBC.com when a plaintiff sues multiple defendants and they are not all found liable, the plaintiff may be required to reimburse the non-liable defendants for their costs. Don’t be disheartened and treat every experience as a step to improvement.
- Analytical and Logical Reasoning
Analyzing complex information and facts logically is a key skill you must possess as a lawyer. You’ll have vast bits of information and cases to take reference from. Making the discretion between the relevant information for your case and structuring arguments based on them requires thinking logically.
Organizing and cataloging your work will go a long way. You can easily access your prior files and cases for future references. As you move ahead in your career, you will amass more data and knowledge. Creating a system that will help you to work more efficiently and effectively is laying the foundation for your career ahead.
Even if you’re working as a solo legal professional you’ll have to team up with other lawyers and individuals to deliver efficient legal services. As you grow your career, you will have to employ secretaries and support staff to help you delegate work. Inculcating legal skills early in your career will lay the foundation for success in your later years. Effectively collaborating to achieve goals, sharing information, developing working relationships with others and participating in team efforts will exponentially accelerate your success.
- Client service
Most commercial companies have customer relation services but as a one-man show, you must run everything yourself. Investing in developing skills to communicate and inculcating the art of reading and expressing non-verbal cues will assist you in understanding your client and their needs. Professionally knowing how to communicate with your clients, boosts your business as well.
As a new lawyer, it is imperative you have the basic knowledge of the legal systems in your area. Gradually increase your knowledge to understand how your state and federal legal systems work. Learn the relevant legal terminology and deadlines pertaining to your branch of law. You can learn from senior lawyers, reading about existing cases and procedures.
Going the extra way so you stand out as a lawyer will be rewarding in the long run. Put on your thinking cap and put your best foot forward. You can not go wrong after these tips.