5 Key Soft Skills for Legal Professionals

Hiring for your law firm isn’t always as easy as matching skills and credentials to your needs. There are a lot of subtle things that make up a great candidate. Beyond certification and experience, you also want to know if someone will be a good match for your firm and existing team. Learning to read beyond the resume will help you pinpoint just the right person for the job. Here’s what to consider.

Communication

Legal professionals at all levels will have to communicate with many different people. The right candidate will need to communicate with lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants, and more in your firm or company and beyond. They will also need to effectively communicate with clients and contacts and drill down to a variety of third parties to get the answers everyone needs. Communication encompasses face-to-face, telephone, email, and formal writing.

Emotional Intelligence

When working with several different people at various levels, a legal professional will be engaging with others in terms of emotional intelligence. This means they will need to have empathy and be able to express sympathy in any given situation. They also need to know how to conduct themselves at all times to include knowing when to be assertive and when to pull back and try a different approach.

Networking

The legal profession is all about contacts. Legal professionals at all levels need to continuously build their network in the community where they’re practicing. Online networking, such as using LinkedIn or other social media, can be just as useful as attending local events. It’s also a good experience for your law candidate to network even in social situations as long as they can discern when appropriate.

Creative Thinking

Within the law, there aren’t always clear cut and dry or black and white answers. Anyone within the legal field needs to know how to approach a problem with creative solutions in mind. That means looking for answers in unconventional places, being willing to test out theories, and working toward a positive conclusion for everyone involved.

Adaptability

Especially in today’s quickly evolving professional climate, lawyers and other legal professionals need to be adaptable. The pandemic in 2020 changed the way we do many things, including practicing law, and some of those changes will carry over for a long time. Some may even become the new normal. You want to work with professionals who know when to take a step back and learn something new.

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