Most law schools focus on disseminating knowledge of the law, courtroom presence analytical ability attention to detail, logical reasoning, and persuasiveness sound judgment and writing ability to students. However today along with the above skills lawyers need:
Collaboration skills: This isn’t just about working well in a team. It is about the ability to function in a multi party work environment to the effect that the process and outcome transcend the collective contribution.
Emotional Intelligence: Distant detached lawyers are relics of the 20th century. Today, clients expect their lawyers to be empathetic toward them and share their perspective on a given situation. This is the very reason why many clients terminate the services of a particular firm when a lawyer they have been dealing with moves to another firm.
Financial literacy: Every client and every case involves money in some way and every lawyer in private practice is running a business. Financial literacy then is needless to say essential.
Project management: it’s a growing complaint among clients that most lawyers do not have project management skills. It is essential that lawyers correctly estimate time or budget costs and create and manage a plan of action.
Technological affinity: Technological affinity is becoming a core skill of succeeding as a lawyer. If you can’t effectively and efficiently use the e-mail internet and mobile telephone you might as well just stay home. Furthermore if you don’t care to learn about RSS, instant messaging. Abode Acrobat and the like clients and colleagues will pass you by. Besides with organizations and people working across borders more than they have ever in the past harnessing technology for information and better productivity is a must.
Time management: law is a demanding field where hard work is a must. Thus, manage one’s time s crucial. Skills like delegating work into more efficient channels learning techniques of efficiently managing people and stress in a multi –task environment are important
Knowing people outside the legal fraternity: good to improve your innovation quotient – when work life balance is a challenge it would be worth walking into an environment that allows you to meet new people and see things from a different perspective Legal professionals will be amazed at the things one can learn from the variety of people they meet outside their own profession. Moving out of the confines of one’s work environment challenges that status quo that one can gets used to while interacting with people from a singly profession. These skills that are crucial for success can only be best acquired at a business / management school.
The fundamental skills required by a lawyer are drafting legal documents public speaking, strategic case planning negotiating interviewing and counseling clients and awareness of the surroundings.
With businesses requiring legal expertise that can absorb the challenges of a global economy, one need to be sensitive to changes in the business world, be able to read into the intricacies and need a vision to continue providing meaningful support to clients.
The legal industry is thriving and now is a great time to embark on a legal career. The delivery of legal; services is a complex process that requires a team of skilled professionals to provide quality and cost effective service At the heart of a legal professional’s role is client service. A legal professional has to be a commercial business advisor to all his /her clients be it representing a multinational corporate client, a client in a divorce case, or researching and planning a tax issue for a new business or saving tax for the client Working in an evolving legal system going through a plethora of case laws and the demands of this profession creates a stimulating intellectual environment for the legal professional. Inevitably those legal professionals especially those connected to the corporate world face numerous challenging.
People in this business have to be strategic as well as legal advisors, problem solvers and innovators. They have to assume new responsibilities and deal wit new business challenges. They also have to work through regulations in the ever evolving business and legal systems. An increasing number of firms and corporations are crossing international borders and expanding across the globe through mergers, acquisitions consolidations and collaboration with foreign counsels. Such growth of this profession provides professionals in this segment a world view and opportunity to serve international clients. Indian lawyers seem to lack the expertise an experience in handling international transactions in capital market, M&As etc. This is one area with great opportunity if dealt with in time.
In the present scenario legal advice is being sought by new ventures and as well as existing companies before diversifying or entering a new business venture. Therefore legal professionals should be able to function in this multi-disciplinary scenario with ease and appropriate knowledge. It may therefore be essential to look beyond the confines of a law school education and acquire knowledge through newer sources which provide a platform to interact with people form various sectors and walks of life.