If you’re someone who enjoys watching legal dramas, then you may have thought about pursuing a career as a lawyer. It’s a challenging field and not the right fit for everyone, but if it’s something you’re passionate about, work on developing these four skills.
Resilience and self-confidence
Legal careers are incredibly competitive. Separating yourself from the crowd takes a lot of enthusiasm and determination. In the process of becoming a lawyer, it’s likely you’ll face a good amount of rejection. You can’t let this discourage you. You’ll need the confidence to keep applying to different law schools and practices. Learn from your rejections; ask for feedback and have the courage to act on it. Confidence in your abilities will help get you where you want to be.
Being a lawyer comes with a very challenging workload and demanding deadlines. To be able to manage all of these, you’ll need to be a master at time management. You must be able to multi-task to tackle competing priorities. To improve your time management skills, start by making to-do lists and prioritize your tasks. This helps you to make sure you’re dealing with the most important things first, instead of letting them get pushed aside by minor tasks. There are many different systems for time management; finding the one that works best for you will help ensure your success.
Attention to detail
Having a sharp eye is crucial to succeeding in the world of law. One wrong word can change the meaning of an entire contract, and a misspelling in an email can give a client the wrong impression, and cost your practice their business. This attention to detail needs to start with your own cover letters and job applications. If there are mistakes in your application materials, a firm is going to be hesitant about hiring you. If your cover letter is too long or vague, a hiring manager may be unsure if you’re the right person to be offering advice to clients.
Communication is crucial in every field, but especially so in law. Without strong oral and written communication skills, you may struggle to be an effective lawyer. You also need to be a strong listener to build strong relationships with clients. To argue a case in court, you have to be confident speaking in front of others. This requires the use of persuasive and succinct language. While in college, get involved with the debate team to practice this skill. Because you’ll have to draft letters and legal documents, written communication is just as important.