The Top Skills Every Professional In the Legal Field Needs To Survive
These days it is not enough to say you want to work in the legal field. You need certain skills in order to truly become a success. According to some studies, only a small percent of college graduates have what it takes to succeed in the legal field. There is more to succeeding than being just “book smart”. You need a certain amount of “business savvy” and “street smarts” to make it too. Those of us who have been in the workforce for the past 20 years, we know what employers are looking for.
Here is just a sample of the skills that you need to have.
Business Technology Including Legal Case Management Software
Google apps may be dominating the playing field these days, but it is the Legal Case Management Software that is going to get you going. Things like Microsoft Office and almost any version of Windows is still the preferred platform of choice.
What about the advanced applications?
Under the Law Firm Case Management Software Umbrella, there should be some sort of clerical office files. These are mostly under the Excel Templates. It is good to know how to type out reports with Microsoft. You also need to know how to create tables. Now, this is mostly for those of you looking for paralegal work and other types of clerical office positions. You still need to know how to do it.
Under the Legal Case Management Software, there may also be Macintosh files. This is still in play with some law firms. You need to know how to use.
Law Firm Case Management Software
There are positions in the legal field that require helping other to get their IT services up and running. These types of positions involved working with the programming to make sure that every client is taken care of in a timely manner. These types of positions are not usually talked about in the legal field. These are considered the “behind-the-scenes” positions.
You can still make a go of it. You just to have both the basic and advanced skills to get the job done. There are programs to assist you with obtaining these types of certificates. Click here to find out more.
The Communication Skills
These skills are critical in making it in this field or any other field. It is not enough to have the business and technical stuff down. You have to know how to communicate things and when to do it. You also have to know how to communicate properly without being icy and condescending. There are just some things a Legal Assistant Certificate can not teach you.
Here are a few pointers.
- How do you sound when speaking on the phone? How comfortable are you in front of a crowd of people? How comfortable are you in front of your clients? Are you not sure? It is better to start honing these skills now.
- You better become good at writing and/or drafting letters. A good portion of your time will be spent doing this. This goes for the lawyer who is at the top of their field. Those who did not write any documents in college, you are going to be hurt badly. You need to know how to communicate through words and a pen and paper.
- You need to know how to work with a team.
- You need to have some kind of skills in persuasion. You will need them.
- You have to get in the habit of answering your emails and other forms of communication. You also have to know what is appropriate to say on the phone or over a text and what is not.
You need to be organized in every way. Your job, no matter what it is, is going to be a lot of hustle and bustle. You have to prioritize what is important and what is not. You have to have a keen eye when it comes to what comes now and what comes later.
You also have to know how to access certain grades of information. You will be doing a lot of research, no matter what position you take in the legal field. Places like the Legal Information Institute and Access to Law Initiative are going to be done regularly.