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10 Essential Lawyer Skills

1. ORAL COMMUNICATION Language is one of the most fundamental tools of the legal profession. Legal professionals must be able to: Convey information in a clear, concise, and logical manner. Communicate persuasively. Advocate a position or a cause. Master legal terminology. Develop keen listening skills.

2. CLIENT SERVICE In the client-focused legal industry, serving the client honestly, capably and responsibly is crucial to success. Legal professionals must master: - Client needs assessment skills. - Customer service skills. - Client communication skills.

3. WRITTEN COMMUNICATION Writing is an integral function of nearly every legal position, from simple correspondence to drafting complex legal documents. Legal professionals must: - Master the stylistic and mechanical aspects of writing. - Master the fundamentals of English grammar. - Learn to write organised, concise and persuasive prose. - Draft effective legal documents such as motions, briefs, memorandums, resolutions and legal agreements.

4. ANALYTICAL AND LOGICAL REASONING Legal professionals must learn to review and assimilate large volumes of complex information in an efficient and effective manner. The required legal analytical and logical reasoning skills include:


Develop the technology related aptitude to make wise technological decisions. To remain effective in their jobs. 5. TECHNOLOGY Technology is evolving the legal landscape and has become an integral part of every legal function. statutes.Using inductive and deductive reasoning to draw inferences and reach conclusions. voice messaging systems. computerised litigation support and document management software.Reviewing complex written documents. 7. drawing inferences and making connections with legal authorities. Master legal research software applications and Internet research.Structuring and evaluating arguments. Learn proper legal citation. legal professionals must: . 2/3 .Master a variety of word processing. case law. Learn how to locate and analyse legal authority.Developing critical thinking. regulations and other information is an important legal skill.Become proficient with legal research software and Internet research. regardless of career level. . judicial opinions. KNOWLEDGE OF SUBSTANTIVE LAW AND LEGAL PROCEDURE All legal professionals.Master communications technology including e-mails. Legal professionals must: Master legal research techniques.Become familiar with electronic discovery. Fundamental principles of law in areas of practice. . 6. Relevant filing deadlines. time billing and practice-related software applications. LEGAL RESEARCH Researching legal concepts.10 Essential Lawyer Skills . organisation and problem-solving abilities. . . . presentation. Master the art of statutory interpretation. . must have a basic knowledge of substantive law and legal procedure which include: Local. . state and federal court systems. Relevant legal terminology. videoconferencing and related technology.

Practitioners must rely on secretaries and support staff and team up with co-counsel. experts and vendors to deliver legal services. 3/3 . meetings and conferences. experts. which requires top-notch organisational skills that include: . catalogue data and create an effective and organized structure from massive amounts of unrelated information. ORGANISATION Legal professionals must be able to manage large volumes of data and documents. Cultivating working relationships with colleagues. Required teamwork skills include: Collaborating with others to reach a common goal. Coordinating and sharing of information and knowledge. teamwork is essential to both individual and organisational success. 9. A strong work ethic. vendors and such.The ability to identify objectives. one paralegal or one practice group. documents. order and manage large volumes of exhibits. Attending and participating in team events. evidence.The ability to sort. 10. legal professionals are under constant pressure to enhance productivity and therefore must develop: Superior multi-tasking skills. TIME MANAGEMENT In a profession based on the business model of billable hours which has direct correlation with financial gain. . Calendar management skills.10 Essential Lawyer Skills 8. The ability to meet tight deadlines. Since the needs of the client may transcend the skills of one attorney.The ability to use technology applications that assist in managing case-related data. data and other information. staff. TEAMWORK Legal professionals do not work in a solitary profession. files. clients. The ability to juggle competing priorities. .