updated on 29 June 2022
Reading time: four minutes
As someone aiming for a career in law, you need a wide range of skills to succeed. An analytical mind and knowledge of the law is crucial to succeed as a lawyer.
However, there are a variety of soft skills that often get overlooked but are equally important to include on your CV if you’re trying to land a job or apprenticeship in the legal field.
The following is a list of the top soft skills that’ll help your CV stand out among the competition in 2022.
Attention to detail
For someone trying to make it in the legal field, attention to detail is a must. A single, seemingly insignificant detail that gets overlooked or a mistake that is left uncorrected could have a major impact on the outcome of a case.
Attention to detail is also an important part of making a positive first impression in your professional life. If the emails you send to clients consistently contain grammatical errors or factual mistakes, the reputation of your firm could be affected.
After all, if you don’t take the time to proofread your emails, how can clients be sure you’re not missing other details as well?
To highlight your attention to detail on your CV, the first step is to ensure that your spelling is impeccable and that your CV is formatted correctly. Secondly, include bullet points that showcase how you applied the skill to your past work.
For vacation scheme application tips that would also be relevant to training contract applications, read this LCN Says: ‘Top 10 tips for your vacation scheme applications’.
As a lawyer, you’re going to need excellent communication skills. Solid writing skills are essential for drafting legal documents and letters, while verbal communication skills will help you build trust with your clients. Knowing how to communicate effectively will be key to your success.
The good thing about communication skills is that they’re transferable, so even if you lack experience in the legal field, you’ve likely had the chance to develop your communication skills elsewhere.
For example, if you held a part-time job in retail or customer service to support yourself through university, mention it on your CV. People with experience in these industries practice their communication skills on a daily basis.
If you’re not sure how best to present your communication skills on your CV, use a couple of CV examples for reference. Look specifically for examples from the legal services industry to learn how to write effective bullet points that’ll improve your chances of getting invited in for an interview.
Learn more about the key skills you need to demonstrate in your applications.
Creativity is probably not the first soft skill that comes to mind when you think about what makes a good lawyer. After all, lawyers deal with hard evidence and facts. However, being creative is a skill that will allow you to go above and beyond for your clients.
Creativity isn’t just related to artistic abilities. It’s also essential for problem solving, because it goes hand-in-hand with out-of-the-box thinking, an important ability that the most successful attorneys possess.
Creative lawyers are more likely to be able to see situations from different perspectives and be willing to experiment with new solutions to issues that might not have been tried before, because they avoid getting stuck in a narrow mindset.
The best way to demonstrate creativity on your CV is by providing examples of times when you used creative thinking to come up with innovative solutions to problems. These could be examples from work, apprenticeships, or personal projects.
Having commercial awareness entails more than simply being up to date on the latest business news. It means understanding how companies are run, as well as being aware of past and current trends within the industries they operate in.
If you’re conscious of the different economic and political factors that impact your clients and their businesses, you’ll be better prepared to offer tailored advice and come up with solutions that target the specific issues they’re facing.
Learning how to write a CV that emphasises your commercial awareness can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
First of all, do your research. Watch the news, attend seminars, and regularly check websites dedicated to reporting on and analysing the latest events in the business world, such as the Financial Times, Bloomberg, or Business Insider. In addition, study recent cases your target firm has been involved in.
Once you’ve built a solid foundation, go ahead and list commercial awareness in the additional skills section of your CV. Just make sure you’re prepared to answer questions about it during future interviews.
LawCareers.Net’s Commercial Questions are brought to you by the lawyers themselves so you can find out what they’re thinking about!
Regardless of whether your goal is to become a barrister or a solicitor, you’ll need to be able to work well with others.
Building a strong case isn’t achieved by a single person. It’s a team effort, and if you can collaborate effectively with support staff, clients, co-counsel, and other individuals involved, you’ll be a much greater asset to a firm than a candidate who thinks it’s a one-person show.
As someone just about to enter the legal profession, highlighting hobbies such as team sports and university clubs on your CV is a great way to show off your teamwork skills.
Ida Pettersson is a content writer who enjoys supporting job seekers as they plan their next career moves. She graduated from New College of Florida with a double major in philosophy/Chinese language and culture.