10 Essential Legal Skills Every Law Student Should Develop
Legal skills needed to be possessed by law students
Law students, in order to build a successful career, shall possess certain important core legal skills. Depending on the responsibility, the legal position of the lawyers changes. However, in all aspects of the legal profession, the impact of legal skills does not change (Smith, 2019). Pursuing a career in law need a number of skills, although it seems to be challenging and rewarding. The wide variety of skills that are needed by a law student is discussed below as follows:
- A desire for knowledge: Although the law is regarded as a monotonous subject by some, however, losing interest while pursuing the course can hamper the career (Smith, 2019). As the law is a diverse subject affecting the various aspects of life, it is necessary for a law student to develop an interest in knowledge related to the various subjects of law.
- Outstanding communication skills: An important aspect of studying law are verbal and written skill. A significant part of the degree will be evaluated by the coursework and written examination. An eagerness to participate in debates, group discussions and presentations is also regarded as important (Smith, 2019). Regardless of communicating verbally or in writing, all that is needed is to put forth the arguments and ideas in a persuading, clearer and logical way.
- Independent and an avid learner: Pursuing a career in law demands dedication. Regardless of the help provided by the professors and tutors, what is required is the dedication shown by the law students. In addition, they are required to take the initiative as required and study accordingly.
- Indulging in teamwork: A law student requires to work independently as well as in a team. In addition, he gets to encounter people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds at the university (Smith, 2019). For this reason, a law student needs to get to interact with different people and develop a sense of teamwork and collaboration. Thus it is needed for a student to contribute effectively to the teamwork and acquire the desired goal.
- Research skills: Every law student needs to have a unique set of research skills, and the key, therefore, is legal research. In addition, he needs to possess a sound knowledge of information and communication skills (LawCareers.net, n.d.). Although a law student is given adequate resources from the day of induction yet he needs to research his legal skills. Law students need to develop habits for reading blogs and case laws so that they can stay updated. In every legal profession, knowledge is the key power for effective research reading is regarded as essential. While reading, a law student has to be selective as it helps in interpreting the relevant information.
- Commercial awareness: A wide range of career options are offered to students who are pursuing law. Employers always seek graduates who possess good commercial skills. Like any other firm, law firms believe in retaining clients in order to make good profits. Thus an employee who has good commercial skills will easily fit in law firms(LawCareers.net, n.d.). Moreover, these employees are aware of the current market trends and the competition, so accordingly, they can innovate and seek new opportunities in the market.
- Being creative: It is essential for law students to be creative, and it helps in critical thinking and problem-solving. Besides, it helps in finding out suitable ways to solve court cases. Many clients seek lawyers who are creative as they are capable of coming up with different solutions to a wide variety of problems. In the process of doing so, the lawyers tend to act as trusted advisors in the business (Bpp.com, 2022). Lawyers can be creative by collaborating and developing a curiosity to know about the knowledge possessed by others. In addition, collaboration with other lawyers and acquiring advanced research techniques help in developing the creative intuition of law students.
- Logical and analytical rationale: A law student needs to review the legal documents, assess the complexity, recognise pain points and draw significant inferences. However, the thinking indulged in the process will have to be logical. For practising law, problem-solving, argumentative evaluation and analysis are highly important (Bpp.com, 2022).. With the help of a deductive and structured rationale, a lawyer can reach sensible and effective conclusions.
- Logical client service: A student pursuing law has to be empathetic and persuasive to deal with clients effectively. To do this, positive body language and adap[ing to the expectation of a client is deemed necessary (Bpp.com, 2022).. In addition, by having a responsible approach, self-control and patience, lawyers can have professional success by building a consolidated client base.
- Time Management: A student pursuing law shall be good at managing time. The skill needed to organise bulks of information is needed much in the profession of a lawyer. This requires to be completed within a stipulated time. Thus a student pursuing law has to maintain strong ethics towards managing time.
Why do law students need to have legal skills?
As s law student, it is necessary to acquire a deeper understanding of the types of decisions that are made by others(Bpp.com, 2022).. This helps in understanding the problems of others and enables them to those from their own perspective. Moreover, this lead to an ability to resolve conflicts in a fair and effective manner, thereby developing superior skill for leadership and management roles in the future. Once the new set of skills is developed, it is necessary for law students to continually sharpen and develop them. Legal skill is also critical for the researcher as it serves as the way to evaluate the resources so that the right way can be determined in case of a legal proceeding. Legal skills possessed by law students help in analytical thinking, which allows them to recognise and clearly define a problem. It further includes getting relevant information so that solutions are found to resolve the problems. With the help of legal skills, issues can be identified, the root cause of the problem can be identified, and resources can be developed to arrive at a particular solution (Bpp.com, 2022).. In addition, acquiring legal skills helps in data analysis which comprises the collection, observations and reviewing data. From the previous cases, a lawyer can review data and assess the outcomes accordingly. Their legal skills are applied in analysing the costs of settlements and in determining how the jury will respond to similar cases. The legal databases are also essential to be learnt by the lawyer and comprise relevant cases, legal materials, regulations, statutes and case laws.
Acquiring legal skills enables a law student to work in a team. The skills that are needed in teamwork comprise delegation, communication and collaboration to ensure that the team executes all the tasks within the stipulated time. The skills possessed by law students enable them to review and evaluate the variety of sources available for completing each project. This, too, requires acute organisation skills as sources have been tracked for organising data and gathering projects. In addition, acquiring legal skills also helps in having a commercial awareness of the law industry.
What are the ways to develop legal skills in legal research?
- It helps to conduct the research independently by indulging in critical thinking, analytical thinking and problem-solving skills.
- It helps in the frequent review of the work that is past and present projects. This also further enables the assessment of the strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, errors can be identified, and strategies can be created which can be applied in the next project.
- The legal skill of a law student enables them to take notes related to the sources and ensure that the source taken is credible will help in the documentation of research.
- Skimming resources thoroughly is done by law students who have legal skills. It helps in a better understanding of the decision taken by the court.
- Acquiring law skills help in evaluating the differences between secondary and primary sources. In this regard, the primary sources comprise the court opinions, regulations, laws and statutes. On the contrary secondary legal sources include the Hornbooks, interpreting laws, practice guides and treatises.
- Smith, J. (2019). 7 Skills for a Successful Law Career | Prospects.ac.uk. [online] Prospects.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and-work-experience/job-sectors/law-sector/7-skills-for-a-successful-law-career.
- LawCareers.net. (n.d.). How to demonstrate the key skills for law in applications. [online] Available at: https://www.lawcareers.net/Explore/Features/30052023-How-to-demonstrate-the-key-skills-for-law-in-applications [Accessed 29 Jun. 2023].
- Bpp.com. (2022). Available at: https://www.bpp.com/insights/skills-needed-to-work-in-law.
1. Why do law students need to have excellent communication skills?
Ans: Law students need to possess outstanding communication skills as it will help strengthen the relationship between the lawyer and the client. Also, it reduces the chances of being misunderstood by the clients, and it is easier to convey the needs related to the case investigation.
2. Why do students pursuing law need to be adept in time management?
Ans: By adopting time management skills, law students can be more productive in their work, and thus their chances are increased to be employed in a well-known organisation. When a law student is organised, he can act confidently and learn effectively.
3. Why is there a desire among law students to develop knowledge?
Ans: A dearth of knowledge among law students will not help them to grow as successful lawyers. Thus there is always a desire among law students to acquire knowledge.
4. Evaluate the reason why creativity is considered to be a skill among law students?
Ans: Creativity is regarded as an integral skill among law students because they can come up with suitable solutions for the wide variety of problems brought by their clients. Furthermore, by being creative, they can achieve their objectives.
5. Why is teamwork a necessary skill of a law student?
Ans: Teamwork helps in the personal growth of law students and develops communication skills, the ability to adapt and conflict resolution skills.
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