You may wish to pursue a career in law, but have you really got what it takes?
A career in law can look different to everyone, however, there are essential skills that make this career perfect for the right candidate. Below are 7 skills I believe make you best suited to work in law, and if you find you don’t possess any of them, then see them as goals to aim for and perfect!
1. You describe yourself as a ‘people person’
One of the main attributes you should have (if a career in law is for you) is that you are a ‘people person.’ As a lawyer, your job revolves around helping and aiding clients/colleagues, so if you enjoy socializing and find it easy to get on with different people, you will find that a career in law is perfect for you. Of course, whilst you are young it is common to struggle with communicating with new people but, it would be a great idea to start networking early on and grow your confidence in creating conversations with strangers.
2. You can stand your ground in an argument
Being able to defend your argument, with confidence, is a skill that will progress you throughout a career in law. You mustn’t be afraid to stand up for what you are passionate about and you must have confidence in what you are saying. The evidence aspect to this point is also crucial because, as a lawyer, the main basis to any argument you make should be evidenced in law or fact. So, make sure when you are arguing and debating, you can ALWAYS back it up!
3. You are extremely thorough in your work
As a lawyer, you are judged not only on your physical performance but also on your performance within your written communication. Drafting client care letters and advice letters may be an essential task of your day-to-day career in law, so making sure you proofread your work repeatedly is key to portraying professionalism in your writing. You need your clients and your colleagues to trust in you, so they can rely on you for bigger tasks in the future. Therefore, don’t slip up in your spelling and grammar.
4. You can articulate well through the written word, as well as spoken word
This point touches upon the one above, but this requires more attention to detail. You may be able to articulate well with your client over the phone or in person, however, do you sound just as professional through a letter? Be careful how you write, don’t include unnecessary legal jargon when writing to clients because, at the end of the day, they are paying you to do all the legal work for them! Your priority as their lawyer is to articulate the information clearly and understandably, so keep this skill in mind if you wish to peruse a career in law.
5. You love public speaking
A key feature of the role of a lawyer is to be able to public speak. You need to have the ability to present your ideas to a group of colleagues/team members, with confidence and fluency. Although many students struggle to public speak, don’t let this worry you or turn you away from a career in law because it is something that comes with practice. If you find it difficult to push yourself out of your comfort zone, then try volunteering to present your ideas to friends, family, or co-workers. Get a little bit of experience in it and eventually, it will become a lot more natural to you.
6. You are competitive
Having a career in law is all about facing opponents in some way, shape, or form. So, you must have a competitive streak in your tool kit. By having this skill, you can apply it to your client work and view their case as a way for you to demonstrate how determined you are to compete against the opponent in order to get your client what they want.
Having a ‘glass half full’ mindset is a fantastic way to view your client work because it aims you toward success and puts the idea of failure out of the question. Just aim to win!
7. You don’t mind lots of research and study
If you consider yourself a bookworm, or you thrive off researching and discovering new things, then a career in law is for you! Reading a lot of books is an essential part of a lawyer’s role and it may take a lot of persistence to sift through lots of documentation, to find what you are looking for. However, don’t worry if you’re not a fanatic reader at the minute, just try easing yourself into it by reading one of our short news articles every day to get you into the habit of researching and expanding your commercial awareness.