Becoming a lawyer is no mean feat. Lawyers work long hours, cover difficult topics and always need a back up plan. It isn’t the kind of career where you can coast or hope for the best (see this law firm as an example).
While lawyers undergo a great deal of training before becoming qualified, there are a number of skills that a person needs in the field of law. It is the kind of career that requires a certain temperament. Here are 5 of the skills needed to become a lawyer.
A lawyer needs to be dedicated to their work. They can’t decide to finish a little early when a client needs them and they can’t do half-hearted research. Being a lawyer means working hard and putting everything into getting the best result for their client. It means seeing the bigger picture and accepting that you might need to stay late. So, people who are dedicated, motivated and don’t give up easily tend to be well-suited to the industry.
Lawyers deal with people every day. They constantly meet new clients and need to know how to communicate with them. Lawyers have fierce competition, so they need good people skills. A client picks a lawyer to represent them in court, so they will pick the person who understands them the best. Being open, honest and kind is important when people are stressed and suffering – as they often are when they seek a lawyer.
Lawyers need to be intricate thinkers who know how to solve problems. They should understand that there are many possible answers and not jump to conclusions. A lawyer will need to learn how to solve problems and find solutions. They will always have a backup and won’t be deterred when something goes wrong.
A big part of being a lawyer is public speaking. Lawyers must be talented wordsmiths who know how to vocalize their ideas. They can’t be shy, quiet or lacking in confidence. A lawyer needs to understand the power of words and choose them wisely. They should have a wide vocabulary and speak with sophistication. Many English students go onto study law, as it requires an appreciation of language.
Lawyers need to be able to work with others. Often, entire departments will be asked to solve a legal problem, so they will need to work with their colleagues to make a case. Some legal issues will expand across several departments and offices, meaning that lawyers will need to share resources and have numerous meetings. Being able to share information, communicate and work collaboratively is important in ensuring that everyone is well informed and included. The work is quicker and more effective when good teamwork is involved.