Lawyers and attorneys

can work across a variety of different law fields, and their professional roles can vary in responsibilities. However, these professionals have several key skills that are required to be successful in the job. If you’re pursuing your career as a lawyer, no matter what field you choose to practice in, it’s important you have the skills necessary to perform in the role.

In this article, we discuss what skills lawyers need in their jobs, how you can improve your lawyer skills and how you can highlight them on your resume, in your cover letter and during an interview. What are lawyer skills? Lawyer skills encompass a variety of hard and soft skills that are both specific to the profession and transferable skills. Communication, knowledge of law practices, protocols and regulations, interpersonal skills and the ability to think critically and solve problems are just several skills you’ll need as an attorney.

Additionally, many lawyers are technically savvy, where they commonly use programs and applications like word processors, spreadsheet software, scheduling applications and technical communication tools. 9 examples of lawyer skills Lawyers rely on a range of hard and soft skills to achieve success and positive outcomes for their clients. As you enter your career, there are several skills you’ll want to develop as a lawyer, including:

1. Analytical and research skills Lawyers rely heavily on their ability to perform deep research into topics related to cases they work on. Additionally, the ability to analyze details, ascertain information, infer context from clients and witnesses and other analytical applications are necessary as a lawyer. This profession often comes with documents, complex information and other data that will require you to perform research and think critically about what you’re working on.

2. Attention to detail Attention to detail is highly important for lawyers, no matter their field of law practice. Lawyers work with diverse clients across many types of law practices, and these professionals rely on their attention to detail to spot inconsistencies in clients’ cases, obscure witness information or other types of data related to the projects they work on.

3. Organizational skills Client records, important documents and other records are a regular aspect of the profession. Many lawyers find methods for keeping their important documents and information organized and may often use computer applications to help them keep track of schedules, appointments, hearings and other job-related events.

4. Time management Effective time management is also critical in this career field. Typically, lawyers charge for their services on a per-hour basis, which means staying on track during client meetings, mediation, hearings and other tasks during working hours. In addition to scheduling and keeping track of time spent with clients, it’s also important to efficiently dedicate time to different tasks of the job, including researching, compiling paperwork or gathering information. Related: Time Management Training: Best Practices and Tips

5. Persuasive communication Attorneys commonly apply persuasive techniques in their jobs on a frequent basis, especially court lawyers (attorneys that appear in court). Persuasive communication requires the ability to relate to others, find their pain points and apply methods for solving cases and achieving success. Even though persuasive communication is meant to sway others to a common cause, lawyers always apply persuasive techniques to achieve positive outcomes for their clients.

6. Written communication skills Lawyers perform many writing tasks throughout their workdays, and strong written communication is a highly desirable trait in this profession. Legal writing, documenting caseloads and casework, writing query letters, letters of demand and other applications are several writing tasks you’ll perform in your career.

7. Interpersonal skills Lawyers interact and work with a variety of diverse clients and professionals. Therefore, it’s highly advantageous to have strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and the ability to connect with others. Additionally, interpreting emotions, providing support and helping resolve conflict are some of the skills that lawyers commonly rely on when working with their clients.

8. Technical skills Technical skills, including specialized skill sets specific to the field, are becoming more desirable for attorneys to have. For instance, working with computer applications like spreadsheets, word processors and online applications are several technical aspects of the job. In addition to computer skills, knowledge of your law field and the technical terms, laws and protocols will also be necessary to achieve success in your career.

9. Financial skills Many lawyers are increasing their financial literacy skills, especially professionals who start their own private firms. Several financial skills you’ll want to have when entering your career include balancing a ledger, understanding tax laws and principles, calculating profits, billing clients and being able to communicate some of this information when collecting payment from clients.