Being a Lawyer is one of the few professions that require an equal amount of technical and soft skills. From a technical perspective, your professionalism, certifications and prior experience might set a good initial impression; however, your soft skills will be the key to success.
Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that characterise a person’s relationships with other people. Soft Skills are more related to who people are rather then what they know. In the workplace they are used to compliment your hard skills. Hard skills refer to a person’s knowledge and professionalism in a field.
With the constant innovations in technology, a lawyer’s role has shifted from what it was 30 years ago. Gone are the days where a Lawyer needs to sift through rooms full of case files, or spend an afternoon writing up legal documents. Technology has meant all files can be stored and accessed digitally with templated documents only the touch-of-a button away. This means that now, more than ever, the soft skills of a lawyers is going to be what differentiates them.
Below are some of the desirable soft skills for lawyers
1. Public speaking
Public speaking skills are important no matter what career path you have chosen. Being able to speak well to a crowd really drives home how knowledgeable you are on the topic. This skill translates well into client meetings too, giving your clients confidence in your knowledge and abilities.
Inside and outside the workplace, the use of persuasion in speaking is a key element to building your business. By executing a great pitch, clients will want to work with you and other employers will look upon you favourably. By presenting a compelling case, you can spark interest in the service that you provide and allow you to position yourself to clients as exactly what they need.
2. Relationship management
We deal with people in every aspect of our lives, whether at work or in our personal lives. Building relationships with people we meet is an important part of improving both personal and business success. Therefore, knowing how to build a good relationship is crucial. Whether you run a large business or are an entrepreneur just starting out, great relationship management skills are going to help set you apart from the competitors and help retain clients.
As a lawyer, creating connections with your clients can sometimes be difficult. To help, you should view every client and every interaction as a chance to build a that relationship, rather than purely transactional.
3. Problem solving
Problem solving skills are crucial to both personal and work life. Refining and developing these skills through training, practice and learning can extend your ability to solve more complex issues.
Effective problem-solving skills enable you to analyse problems, identity the risk and develop effective solutions. In the legal profession, no two problems are the same. Every situation presents unique challenges but problem solving goes beyond good ideas that have worked in the past; it is a skill that allows you to think creatively and find solutions that are personalised to meet a client’s needs.
Many people relate creativity to artistic job roles only, rather than extending that to their own profession.
Creativity refers to being able to come up with something new. Therefore, the ability to be creative as a lawyer, allows you to think ‘outside of the box’, introducing different and new perspectives and ways to do things. This skill allows businesses to move in a more productive direction, constantly developing their processes, getting them a step ahead of the competition.
These soft skills are traits that current and future lawyers in any field need to be successful. To be the best possible lawyer you can be, you need to have the willingness to develop these skills. Getting out of your comfort zone can be daunting, but is the quickest road to growth in any profession. By equipping your arsenal of technical knowledge with these soft skills, you will become a better lawyer, employee and person.