Although the practice of law is unquestionably difficult, there are multiple ways to prepare for it. More and more, clients are demanding lawyers who have skills that go beyond the courtroom.
They want lawyers with expertise in business development, marketing, operations, and human resources.
But where do you even start? Competition is fierce and there are a number of factors to consider when choosing which path to take.
However, with these 7 actionable tips, you’ll be well-positioned to make a decision that’s right for you.
1. Get Extra Help for Passing the Bar Exam
Effective bar prep relies on gaining a wide and shallow grasp of a range of topics. To pass the bar, you do not need to be an expert in any of the areas tested.
To pass the bar test, you must have just enough legal knowledge in just enough topics.
Knowing your percentile status before taking the bar test is crucial to determining where you are on the bar examination curve. Taking a bar test preparation course is the best way to assure your best chance of passing.
2. Diversify Your Skills to Gain In-Demand Talents
Internal teams demand reliable and talented attorneys, as well as highly sought-after lawyers with 5+ PQE, according to a recent legal workforce survey.
While you’re still studying, you should explore your options for specializing in a legal field.
The most in-demand skill sets, according to the study, were trade and contract attorneys, notably in ICT procurement. Other areas of expertise that are frequently sought include M&A, litigation, conflict resolution, and construction.
3. Take Advantage of Your Career Services Office
Another major blunder made by students and law students is their inability to properly utilize their professional services offices. These organizations usually have actual experience with lawyers who may assist you in finding work.
The more information the advisers have about you and your interests, the better they will be able to assist you. If your assigned consultant fails to meet your expectations, seek another consultant who can assist you.
Consultants will be paid to create networks and keep track of current legal developments and trends.
In addition, the offices provide access to a variety of professional development tools and programs for law students and alumni. Employers usually have a good idea of which candidates use their career services and which do not.
It would be foolish to ignore such a valuable resource in this case.
4. Consider Your Lateral Options
The possibility for advancement in large firms may be limited. A lateral transfer to a mid-level practice might help you fast-track your private practice more rapidly.
From a technical and career-development viewpoint, mid-level attorneys typically witness the whole life cycle of a transaction and have more direct client interaction.
Another advantage is that smaller businesses and boutiques are more willing to promote employees since HR departments have streamlined the hiring process.
5. Improve Your Writing Skills
The written word is one of the most important tools in the legal profession. Advocacy, enlightenment, persuasion, and teaching terms. While completing legal drafting takes time and effort, you may enhance your writing abilities and take safeguards by improving your writing skills.
Every word you type should fit into your message. Remove and eliminate redundancy, exclude foreign words, and simplify complex sentences.
6. Gear Towards Electronic Communications
In the 2020 Legal Trends Report, it was found that:
- 69% of consumers prefer to share documents electronically.
- 56% of consumers prefer videoconferencing over a phone call.
- 65% prefer to pay through electronic payments.
This means that you can satisfy more than half of your clients by streamlining your digital communication process, significantly cutting down on personal meetings, while also increasing the number of clients you could possibly take.
The majority of legal clients are willing to connect with lawyers using digital means. Lawyers would be wise to adapt to this shift in the market and prepare themselves to encounter more and more consumers and potential clients online.
7. Be a Team Player
As a contract lawyer, you’ll almost always have to join an internal team. Client feedback is frequently focused on the contracting lawyer’s ability to quickly join the team – or not.
Contract attorneys should take advantage of the chance to get to know their colleagues and participate in social activities.