Just ask any aspiring lawyer and they will tell you that pursuing a career in the legal field is no easy feat, as they resentfully go on about the long list of drawbacks.
Intense pressure. Client demands. Long hours. Research.
Admittedly, it can get a little overwhelming, demanding, and stressful. Yet, it is not all dark clouds and lost hope. Deep down, these individuals carry a sense of pride and achievement as lawyers because, at the end of the day, they truly do love what they do. Being a lawyer is a fulfilling and emotionally rewarding job that allows you to not only help others but keeps you on your toes as well.
Grateful clients. Exciting new cases. Mental Stimulation. Revenue.
Still worried about the cons that come with pursuing law? Lucky for you, academics Marjorie M.Shultz and Sheldon Zedeck highlighted and categorised 26 important skills that appeared to contribute to effective lawyering. These skills do not just apply to lawyers, but any individual in the legal field. Mastering these skills will not only gradually eliminate any outstanding concerns that you may have, but they will also help you pave a clear path to success! These 26 points have since been categorised into 8 main umbrellas, keep reading to learn more!
26 effective Lawyering Skills:
Intellectual & Cognitive
- Analysis and Reasoning: Using logic, analytical skills, and good reasoning, to produce solid conclusions and give advice
- Problem Solving: Identify and analyse problem and provide clear solutions
- Practical Judgment: Approaching a problem realistically and rationally
- Creativity and Innovation: Think outside the box, different perspectives
Research & Information Gathering
- Questioning and Interviewing: Obtain necessary information needed to pursue case
- Researching the Law: Draw from credible sources and past strategies to utilise in current case
- Fact Finding: Ability to highlight relevant facts in line with case
- Speaking: Communicate professionally and articulately to relevant parties
- Listening: Accurately discern what is being said directly and implicitly
- Influencing and Advocating: Persuasive and convincing
- Writing: Write academically, persuasively, and clearly
Planning and Organising
- Strategic Planning: Art of specific planning to avoid missteps and surprises
- Organizing and Managing Your Own Work: Schedule and organised methods to ensure good work and desirable results
- Organizing and Managing Others: Work well with staff or colleagues to stay on top of things and reach goals together
- Negotiation Skills: Able to resolves disputes while pleasing all parties involved
- Able to See the World Through the Eyes of Others: Understanding, compassionate, can be objective
Client Relations & Entrepreneurship
- Networking and Business Development: Not only has good and relevant business connections but is also able to meet financial goals and develop
- Providing Advice, Counsel, & Building Relationships with clients: Able to address client’s needs and maintain a good relationship with them
Working with Others
- Developing Relationships within the Legal Profession: Build connections with others and strive towards a shared goal
- Evaluation, Development, and Mentoring: Teaches others based on one’s capability, to help them achieve their full potential
- Integrity/Honesty: Acts with moral correctness
- Community Involvement and Service: Contributes to the community
- Passion and Engagement: Genuinely carries an interest for the field of Law
- Diligence: Responsible and determined to produce results and achieve goals
- Stress Management: Works well under pressure and sets boundaries to prevent severe stress or burnout
- Self-Development: Takes on the responsibility of improving oneself and growing as an individual
It is clear that adopting and mastering these skills, will do you well in the legal field. However, it should be noted that every individual is different and has a different idea of what success is or what it means to be effective. As such, if you want, you could use this comprehensive list as a rough idea or layout, to develop your own. You could change aspects of the character category or the research points – to better suit your capabilities, goals, and processes. Having said that, if you feel that this list is perfect for you, you better knuckle under and get to mastering. Good luck!