There is no denying that the legal industry is in a state of flux and growth. The Internet and its inherent technologies have forced change in many industries, including the legal industry. This means it is time for legal professionals, legal transcription companies, law firm owners, and legal educators to adjust with the changing times.
The traditional big corporate law firm with lots of people hidden away in offices for hours and hours is slowly disappearing. This is a good thing. While we don’t want to see the demise of the law firm, we do want to see change in how lawyers and other legal professionals work and live.
To say technology and the future of law are closely intertwined is an understatement. From online-only law firms, remote working, digital legal databases, and clients well-versed in their legal rights – this is an interesting and exciting time to be involved in the legal industry.
In this article we look at the key skills legal professionals need to succeed in this changing legal landscape.
Deep Legal Passion
This might sound like a big ask, but with the competitive nature of the legal industry and the huge demands placed on you to succeed as a lawyer or other legal professional – passion is key. Think of the colleagues who have been instrumental in helping you grows in your career; these people have carved out a niche for themselves that allows them to remain passionate and interested in the law. Find that aspect about the law that gets you excited and pursue this throughout your career.
Let’s face it, working in any capacity in the legal industry can be challenging. To continue to grow and succeed within an industry that is changing at a rapid pace, requires self-motivation. Sign up for new classes, volunteer at a legal clinic, learn new technical skills – do what you need to do to continue to hone your legal knowledge and ability to stay relevant in this new legal landscape.
Leadership and Mentorship
As an experienced lawyer or legal transcriptionist, it’s up to you to help and support new legal professionals. Think back to your early years of working – it was intimidating, stressful, and demanding. You have the chance to change this for new colleagues by providing strong leadership and mentorship. The extra bonus is that you’ll likely learn some new skills and knowledge from these new legal grads and hires.
10 years ago, we would never have listed technical aptitude as a key skill for legal professionals. However, times have changed. Old desktop computers have been replaced by laptops, digital devices, and cloud storage. Make sure you’re willing and able to learn about the latest in legal software, digital services, and how to easily access the depth of online legal databases.
Ability to Change
The structure of traditional law firms has changed and is continuing to change. This means you must have the ability and willingness to change as well. This means rethinking how you can best market your legal skills to clients. It means thinking about how your law firm operates including being open to remote working or in expanding into new areas of focus.
Client Comes First
This might not seem like a skill, but the ability to understand, empathize, and relate to clients are key skills for any legal professional. Due to the competitive nature of the legal industry and the wealth of opportunities available to your clients to find a new lawyer, it’s super important that you remember to put your client first. Know what your client needs. Be willing to communicate with your client in the ways that are easiest for him or her. Have flexible hours so that your client doesn’t need to take time off from work to meet with you.
By staying up to date with the trends and issues in the legal industry, it is much easier for you to continue to grow within your career. The best thing you can do is to stay involved and aware of how technology is having such a huge impact on the legal industry. Make sure you and your company are well-positioned for the next big change in the legal industry.