Legal jobs take multiple forms, but the skills needed to excel are the same for any position in law.
Whether you are an aspiring or qualified Lawyer, Paralegal, Secretary, Conveyancer or any other role in the profession, Anna Pitts of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau brings you the 10 essential traits you need for a career in law. For anyone looking to begin their career in law, especially if you are about to graduate, this is essential reading!
Legal professionals can’t afford to be unorganised. You’ll be running on a tight schedule, and clients will be counting on you to be prompt and reliable. If running like clockwork isn’t your strong point, use a diary, daily planner and even Post-its if you need to, to get organised.
Working in law means being part of a team, like in many other professions. You probably aren’t going to be best friends with everyone, but you need to be able to tolerate and get along with the other legal minds on your team, working together to get great results.
Law is a tough field, requiring strong-minded professionals. Sometimes, the situations aren’t going to be pretty and it isn’t for the faint-hearted. You may need to detach your own personal feelings from your work and not let your emotions affect your performance.
On the other side of the coin, being hard-nosed and heartless towards your clients isn’t the best idea either. A balance between professional sympathy and determination for results is ideal within all legal jobs.
Jobs in law involve bold choices and actions and therefore require workers with high self-belief. Even if you aren’t in a role that is ‘all eyes on you’, you’ll still need to make decisions and be sure of your judgements; doubt is not allowed (even if it is reasonable).
Being able to express yourself clearly and concisely is paramount in the legal industry. You need to be able to explain and understand large amounts of information and relay the information coherently to non-experts. The ability to get your point across in a convincing way will serve you well in law jobs.
Legal work often requires early mornings, late nights and antisocial hours. You need to be an early bird and night owl at once, functioning well on sometimes only a few hours’ sleep and willing to drop personal commitments for the job.
Like many industries, law has its ups and downs, so a bounce-back attitude and resilience are important. You cannot let any disappointing results get you down or take them personally. You need to be upbeat and confident, for yourself and also the people around you.
9. Attention to detail
A lot rides on the proofreading and observation skills of legal professionals. You need to be meticulous – whether it is checking or writing a contract, going over evidence, or listening to another’s story, you must be thorough and every detail must be noted.
10. A business brain
Entrepreneurial spirit and commercial awareness are key traits for any worker in the modern business world, the legal industry included. You need to know how businesses operate, finding opportunities and envisaging the bigger picture in your work.
Written by Anna Pitts, a Marketing Assistant and Online Researcher at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. Her work involves PR and outreach and writing informative, interesting advice-based articles for graduates and students. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.
ILSPA publishes an article from specialist recruitment site www.Simplylawjobs.com each month. Simplylawjobs.com advertises thousands of the latest legal jobs from leading recruitment agencies and direct employers across the UK. By registering as a job seeker, you can apply for jobs, upload your CV to be seen by employers and sign up for email job alerts.