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Clayton Legal in Totally Legal

20/02/2017
Posted by: Whitney Griffiths

Lynn Sedgwick, Managing Director of Clayton Legal, was recently featured in Totally Legal talking about the skills will future lawyers need to be successful in 2017. Noting that “lawyers can no longer rely on their academic achievements to secure themselves a role at a leading firm” she outlined the various skills lawyers need to succeed in the next year.

Outstanding interpersonal skills

In ever more competitive employment market lawyers need to be able to demonstrate that they have the ability to foster and maintain strong professional relationships with peers, and create a strong sense of rapport with a whole portfolio of clients. Lawyers can no longer rely on senior partners to develop relationships with current, or indeed prospective clients, so professionals need to ensure they are able to interact with legal service consumers in a way that engenders confidence.

The ability to work collaboratively

Workplaces are becoming more collaborative and agile, and even the legal profession – which has historically been somewhat change averse – is adopting increasingly co-operative working practices. As cases become increasingly complex, lawyers will find themselves working in interdisciplinary teams which span across practices, and require the advice of external specialists, so the ability to work effectively with a diverse team is more crucial now than ever.

Management skills

As in house teams continue to bolster their internal legal departments, private practitioners will likely find themselves working with clients who are qualified legal professionals themselves, and subsequently expect their external counsel to not only show effective management skills but also a willingness to negotiate on alternative fee arrangements.

A generalist and a specialist

A challenging dichotomy has emerged in the legal profession. Employers are increasingly looking for lawyers to have both specialist knowledge and a wider generalist skillset founded on a strong sense of commercial acumen. Law firms are now looking for professionals with experience working in incredibly specialist practice areas, however it’s crucial that these lawyers also have a broad sense of commercial awareness and a strong set of interpersonal skills to support their specialist knowledge.

For more insight take a look at our blog.

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