9 Skills You Need To Hone If You Want To Become A Lawyer
Legal professions are some of the most prestigious occupations in the world. As a lawyer, you’ll make $127,000 annually on average in an ever-evolving industry. Thanks to the shortage of lawyers, many regions in the US have become legal deserts. This escalating need for skilled, educated, and experienced lawyers makes this profession a lucrative career for undergrads. But which skills should you hone to make it big as a lawyer? Here’s what you need to know:
- Commercial awareness skills
Develop commercial awareness before delving into the complex realm of law, i.e., legal aspirants need to understand the climate in which law firms and their clients operate. It will help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the legal profession.
A commercially aware law student can stay abreast of all the changes in the industry, possessing the knowledge required by their employers. Commercial awareness makes you stand out in the job pool and improves your marketability.
- Relevant academic skills
If you’re interested in pursuing a specific legal field, attain an advanced degree relevant to it. It’ll help you improve your employability and kickstart your career in that particular field.
Many students, for example, are interested in forensic science, which deals with analyzing legal evidence and checking its admissibility in courts of law. You should pursue a bachelor degree in forensic science to begin your journey in this exciting profession. You will learn about DNA analysis methods, chain-of-custody issues, the sociology of crimes, and many other subtopics. Getting the right degree can help you succeed in your career.
- Written communication skills
Work on your verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Learn to speak with your body language as well. Most importantly, hone your written communication aptitude so you’d file motions and prepare legal dissertations without a hassle. Written communication skills aren’t just about using AI to eliminate all spelling and grammar mistakes from your paperwork. You must also choose the correct words to effectively get your message across the room to the other side.
Learn to write like a layperson and keep your arguments easily readable. But you should also master writing sophisticated stuff with complex phrases to present compelling cases and win arguments.
- Public dealing skills
A lawyer doesn’t work in seclusion but deals with clients and actively listens to their problems. A successful lawyer needs to be good at public dealing; without this essential skill, you won’t be able to succeed in the courtroom, no matter how academically gifted you are. Remember that these cases affect people’s lives, freedom, and reputation. So, you should be able to empathize with your clients. It’ll help you gain their trust and learn vital pieces of information from them to help your case.
This skill also comes in handy when talking to potential witnesses, making them cough up some info, or convincing them they should start rooting for your guy.
- Working under constant pressure
Experts have described the starting days in the legal world as extremely draining and time-consuming. You have to put in long hours to study, research, and prepare for each case. You may deal with difficult clients, hostile opponents, and inattentive judges. You may have to go the extra mile for the client but get pennies for your hard work. Your work-life balance may be disturbed because of your commitment to excellence. That’s why you should be able to work under constant pressure in a legal profession.
- Teamwork and collaboration skills
Nobody can become Gerry Spence working on their own! You need to collaborate with your underlings and hone your teamwork skills to be able to win every single case of your career. When working in a legal profession, you must collaborate with friends and enemies. Sometimes, you deal with difficult people but must tighten your belt and make the best out of a complex situation.
- Research and investigation skills
The public often associates lawyers with fiery speeches and complex arguments in courts of law. These speeches and arguments wouldn’t be possible without a team of researchers putting their backs to the grindstone and researching even minor details that could help their side win the case.
You need to research stuff quickly, effectively, and in a presentable manner to become a rising star in the competitive field of law. Become a well-organized, detail-oriented person so you’d find the hidden detail seniors need to prove their guy innocent and settle the argument in their favor.
- Creative problem-solving skills
Many lawyers have started using AI tools for case research and creating legal precedents out of thin air. These precedents never really existed and were generated by ChatGPT. That is what you avoid in your legal profession by bolstering your creative, out-of-the-box problem-solving skills. Find creative solutions to complex problems and, when faced with multiple choices, determine which legal trajectory would be the most favorable to your client by using your gut instincts.
- Analytical and judgment skills
Working in the legal field means dealing with large quantities of data and turning them into relevant, meaningful information. If you have watched legal shows such as SUITS, they often depict an up-and-coming legal intern burying their head in a swarm of boring documents and pulling all-nighters to drive useful insights from these papers. That’s exactly how one would describe working in a legal profession.
That’s why you should work on your analytical skills to reach logical conclusions with available data. If you deal with limited amounts of information, then your well-tuned judgment skills will help you draw reasonable conclusions. Judgment skills will also help you find flaws in your opponent’s arguments.
To pursue a legal career, you must work on the skills mentioned in this blog. Follow the guidelines above to explore the skills one needs to thrive in the legal realm and unlock their potential as a future legal professional. You must hone your public dealing, analytical, research, written communication, and teamwork skills. Do not forget about pursuing higher education. Formal higher education will help you take your skills to even higher levels.