Untapped Skills to Leverage as a Lawyer
For attorneys, it’s so important to constantly be on the lookout for new and untapped lawyer skills that can give you an edge in your practice in multiple ways — helping you better serve your clients, improve your efficiencies and even open up doors to new opportunities for your career. Left undiscovered, it becomes harder and takes longer to reach your full potential as a legal professional.
In addition to traditional legal skills such as legal research and writing, let’s explore some of the most promising hidden talents and skills that any lawyer can leverage to give themselves that extra edge, competitive advantage, and enhanced competency.
In today’s digital age, technology has become an integral part of the legal profession. Lawyers who can leverage technology to their advantage will be better equipped to handle the fast-paced and ever-changing legal landscape. This can include skills like:
- Data analytics; and
For example, lawyers who know how to use e-discovery software can quickly and easily sift through large amounts of data to find the information they need, while lawyers who know how to code can build custom tools to automate repetitive tasks. Spreading your wings and becoming acquainted — even specialized — in new tech can impart great benefits to your knowledge and industry skills.
Communication is one of the most important skills for any lawyer, but it’s also an area that many lawyers often neglect — even trial attorneys where precise language is critical during the persuasive process of deliberation. Lawyers who can effectively communicate with their clients, colleagues and adversaries are more likely to achieve favorable outcomes for their clients and build strong relationships within the legal community. This includes not only verbal communication skills but also writing skills and the ability to deftly and clearly communicate with clients through digital platforms.
In today’s legal market, it’s not enough to simply know the law — attorneys must also have a strong understanding of business even if business law is outside of your legal specialty. Lawyers who have a deep understanding of business concepts like finance, accounting and marketing can help their clients to navigate the complex business landscape and make better decisions. They can also help to identify new business opportunities for their clients and even help to grow their own practices.
Project Management Skills
Lawyers are often called upon to manage complex projects — litigation, mergers and acquisitions and real estate transactions, to name just a few. And attorneys with strong demonstrated project management skills can keep these projects on track, manage risks and ensure that deadlines are met. This includes not only having knowledge of project management tools and methodologies — but for attorneys looking to rise the ranks or start their practice overseeing junior attorneys, paralegals and other staff, it’s also important to be able to effectively manage a team and delegate tasks.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Even the best trial attorneys and litigators are well served to become more proficient in conflict resolution and leveraging their expertise in ADR — various methods of resolving disputes outside of court, such as mediation, arbitration and negotiation. Developing your working knowledge and experience in ADR can provide an invaluable service to clients, the least of which includes helping them avoid costly and time-consuming legal fees and court battles.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, manage and use emotions to guide thoughts and actions — one of the most valuable soft skills a professional can possess. Those in the profession who possess high levels of emotional intelligence are better able to empathize with their clients and understand their motivations, which can help to build stronger relationships and achieve better outcomes. Cultivating a more emotionally intelligent perception in your legal craft can extend to other areas of your life, helping attorneys better manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Tap Into Your Best Professional Skills
Lawyers who invest time and effort in developing these skills will be better equipped to handle the fast-paced and ever-changing legal landscape, serve their clients more effectively and open up new opportunities for their careers.
Whether you’re looking to start your legal career at a law firm or advance your career momentum already in motion, the recruiters at Pinnacle know how important it is to maximize your skill sets and tap into the next phase of your legal practice. Looking to leverage your legal prowess for your next opportunity? Contact us today to learn more.