There are undoubtedly a lot of lawyers out there at present. But how many of these lawyers actually have a successful career in their respective fields?
In this article, you’ll know what are the 10 most important skills you need to become a successful attorney.
1. The Skill of Project Management
While it’s fun to think that a litigator’s job is limited to just arguing in front of a judge, the reality is that the large majority of a lawyer’s time is spent working on several, intricate tasks.
Organization and project management skills are essential for a successful legal career. When it comes to long-term projects or cases, this is extremely important. The same rule is applicable to transactional lawyers and deal negotiators.
2. Good Focusing Ability
Though it seems like an obvious skill, having a good focus at any job is important, but it is especially more important for lawyers to master it to be able to concentrate and work on a case and be successful.
It’s because lawyers are notoriously bad at focusing on just one thing at a time as they keep on doing multiple things at a time and juggling various tasks.
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It’s because lawyers are notoriously bad at focusing on just one thing at a time as they keep on doing multiple things at a time and juggling various tasks. At times, while working on any complex and multifaceted problem, they may also be interrupted by their team members or the clients themselves.
As the number of distractions/interruptions increases, even the best lawyers must try to improve their ability to focus in order to solve their cases with a low or zero error rate. The tiniest information can have a huge effect on the result of a lawsuit.
3. Client-Centric Approach
Lawyers are in the service industry, which means they must provide excellent customer service to their clients, whether it’s a multimillion-dollar company, an individual going through a divorce, or someone who has been injured, your client will be in touch to find out what’s happening.
And as their lawyer, you’re in charge of keeping your client up to date and responding to their inquiries. Customers/clients can make or break an attorney’s career, so it’s important to remember that excellent customer service skills can make a difference.
4. Good Communication Skills
Being able to communicate well (including technical communication) is an important skill. It’s a truth that in today’s time and age customers no longer want to be limited to talking just by phone or having to wait 24 hours for a response.
It is no longer an option for lawyers not to use email when they are on the go, they have to comply with the new way of dealing and communicating via email/phone. To be more approachable, attorneys must be able to communicate with clients via text message in a way that makes both the client and the lawyer feel at ease.
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The lawyer’s personal time should be protected, so certain limits must be set. Texting from a phone or computer is now possible for lawyers, but they may do so without interfering with their personal life.
5. Marketing Skills
Times have changed and so have the generation of lawyers. A new generation of lawyers does not hesitate to advertise and sell themselves to win cases and establish their brand.
Even in today’s competitive legal market, large law firms whose practitioners sit and work without any concern for their personal brand are under increasing pressure.
Firms today want their lawyers to be able to sell themselves, therefore everyone from the small-firm lawyer to the big-firm lawyer must be prepared to promote themselves both online and offline.
6. The Skill of Managing Stress Well
As a lawyer, you’ll have to deal with a lot of stressful situations. A lawyer’s job is to help those who are dealing with difficult situations themselves.
You must be able to maintain your cool under pressure in order to be a successful lawyer. A lawyer’s ability to deal with stress in the workplace is essential to a long and successful career.
7. The Skill of Rainmaking
Lawyers who can attract new clients are more likely to generate money and be successful in their careers than those who can’t. It’s possible for these lawyers to run their own law firm if they wanted to do so.
These lawyers can work with anyone if they are more comfortable working for a large firm. It is not uncommon for large firms to employ attorneys whose sole job function is to make it rain, both in terms of clients and money.
Unlike their colleagues, these lawyers are not subject to the same strict billing obligations. They are paid for the revenue they generate.
8. Writing & Rhetoric Skills
One of the best ways to improve your writing and rhetorical skills is to read a lot of books and articles on the subject. This is due to the fact that precise language will always be important, especially for a lawyer.
Frequently, large amounts of money are at stake because of the nuances of a single word in a contract or agreement.
Every lawyer has at least once come across a case in which a single confusing term or an ambiguous word has caused agreements to be rescinded post-contract litigation. When working with clients and contracts/agreements, good writing and rhetorical skills are very important.
9. Tech & Operational Skills
It hasn’t been that long since the time when the older lawyers would say that they didn’t require to understand or put any effort into learning “that new technology stuff”. But now the times have completely changed and those who resisted the change are increasingly losing.
There are a lot of lawyers in the workforce now, which means lower prices because of the greater competition. As a result, lawyers must work hard and use technology to reduce the costs of delivering their output/service so that they may continue to earn a reasonable amount of profits.
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Additionally, lawyers must be able to use time management, document ornamentation, and client relations tools in order to maximize the efficiency with which they provide their service.
10. The Skill of Reputation Management
Today’s lawyers need to have social proof or presence online where clients may find them and hopefully leave positive reviews. The online reputation of a lawyer is now being checked not only by consumers but also by large corporations prior to making a hiring decision.
Being accessible on social media networks such as Facebook, Yelp, and Google helps clients make a better-informed decision when considering hiring you. Also, it allows previous customers to give you feedback and establishes your reputation.
If you don’t know how to effectively manage your online and offline reputation, you may not be able to succeed.