This article has been written by Ashutosh. This article exhaustively talks about various skills that a lawyer must learn to develop a successful legal career in India.

It has been published by Rachit Garg.

It is so difficult to find competent young lawyers who can draft contracts, I find it frustrating. We are always on the lookout for people who can draft good contracts. We offer salaries above 70k INR per month in remote roles and still cannot find competent contract drafting professionals. The ones we like usually have a salary bracket of over 1.5 lakhs per month and above!

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If you are stuck in a low paying job, including in litigation, just become good at contract drafting, it will immediately put you in a different league as far as income is concerned.

Recently, my father referred his friend’s daughter to me to help if I can. This girl studied law and graduated from a local law college in Kolkata. She has spent 3 years working under a senior and still earns about 10k INR per month as a stipend. 

She is allowed by her senior to take her own work if she can get any, and occasionally she gets some small matter from which she makes 5-10k INR in one shot.

However, she recently got married and does not find it worth the earning to spend 6 hours per day running around in court, followed by another 6 hours in the chamber drafting and researching for the senior.

The request was simple: can I help her get a law firm or company job where she can get paid above 50k INR per month?

I really felt this girl had passion and seemed to be intelligent and hard-working.

The first question I asked her was: “Can you draft commercial contracts?”

“Yes”, came the confident reply.

OK, tell me what contracts you have drafted.

Settlement agreements, affidavits, property deeds.

Great, but what about commercial contracts? Can you draft an investment agreement, or a software development agreement, a franchisee agreement or, say, an IP licensing agreement?

Silence. 

No worries, tell me whatever agreement you drafted recently. Give me examples of some important clauses.

The conversation led to the realisation for me that whatever contracts she even drafted, she was basically editing templates she found. She did not have a deeper understanding of any of the clauses or their business impact.

Soon she admitted – “my senior does not do much contract related work, so I did not get to learn about this”.

Now, the problem is that at most law firms and in-house counsel jobs, contract drafting is a very basic requirement.

If you can do contract drafting and compliance, you can easily get a job. If you have experience with litigation, it will be considered an added advantage in that scenario. If you can’t do contract drafting, you are already at a huge disadvantage. Only litigation or compliance skills may not see you through for the vast majority of jobs. You will not even be considered for the interview.

The good news is that you can learn commercial contract drafting in a few months if you put in consistent effort.

I explained to her that she could turn her situation around by learning contract drafting. In Kolkata itself, I know three software services companies that are looking for lawyers who can draft their contracts for a reasonable retainership fee right now! But can she help any of them?

“Just give me a chance, I will prove myself” is unfortunately not something that inspires faith in a business, even if they feel your pain. They have a responsibility not to jeopardise the interests of their own stakeholders!

Life is giving you chances right now, seize them. Don’t wait for an employer to bet on you despite your lack of a proven track record.

I told her that she needed to learn three things to get the kind of work she wanted:

  1. You need to be able to draft commercial contracts from scratch (and that does not mean changing names, address or some details in a template)
  2. You need to have drafted some contracts before – which means you need to have a track record. If you have to draft your first 10 commercial contracts for free, do it, but get great testimonials and referrals. If nothing else, you can now tell future employers about 10 real contracts you drafted, the situations and challenges you faced along the way, and what happened in the end. This is what shows a potential employer or a prospective client that they can trust you.
  3. Please build your outreach. Make sure people know about your skills and track record. One on one networking is fine, and it is also fine to use social media. Just share your stories, your frustrations, your experiences, and the fun moments about your work on social media, but do it responsibly. It will be a game changer.

Once you learn how to draft contracts, the sky’s the limit. 

You can then easily learn in another 6 months how to draft cross-border contracts, US contracts, and Dubai contracts and earn even 10x more!

You could learn how to get international clients remotely!

But let’s not build castles in the air.

It all starts with building that one skill: contract drafting.

I am trying to help my father’s friend’s daughter learn contract drafting. I have no doubts that she will absolutely crush it in the professional world once her contract drafting skills begin to mature, given the hustle and drive she has.

If you are a lawyer, and you are not awesome at it already, you should learn contract drafting. It will help you in ways you cannot imagine.

  1. You will be able to earn more by drafting contracts, finding contract drafting clients is much easier than finding other kind of legal work.
  2. New clients will test you by giving simple contract drafting work because it is low risk to try you out compared to giving you litigation work. 
  3. Even if you want to become a litigation lawyer, contract drafting will help you because when contracts you draft land up in litigation, you will be called upon to help. 

I hope I gave you enough reasons to learn contract drafting.

Respond and let me know how you have been learning contract drafting and what challenges you faced along the way.

Drafting contracts is generally considered the most useful skill that every lawyer must know, but there are several other skills that are also very essential for a lawyer. Learning and mastering these skills can take you to a great height and can increase your potential ten times more than what you are. 

Don’t worry if you don’t know which skills you need to master if you are in the legal field. I have listed below the top ten skills every lawyer must learn if he wants to be successful in the legal field.

To become a successful lawyer or have a good legal career, every individual has to master some of the most essential skills that are highly looked for in this profession. Here is the list of some of the most crucial and important skills that every lawyer or law student must possess.

Drafting skills

Drafting is the most essential skill that every lawyer must possess, irrespective of their area of specialisation. It is a skill which is used in all fields of law, and no legal work can move forward without drafts such as draft of bail petitions, written statements etc. If a lawyer or law student wants to become successful in his/her life, the first thing they should learn is to draft all kinds of agreements and contracts. In India, most of the lawyers don’t have expertise in drafting contracts, and because of this, they lack behind and don’t get much work from the clients. This is because they don’t get proper training and exposure. 

Drafting skills alone can take a lawyer to great heights. Even if you are a law student and have drafting skills, you can easily earn a good amount of money, which will be more than the salary of most lawyers. But learning and developing expertise in drafting takes patience, hard work and a good source (either through a senior lawyer or by taking any drafting course). If you are someone who is willing to become an expert in contract drafting, and you don’t know how or when to start, then you can look up for a drafting course that covers all the aspects of drafting.

How to improve or develop drafting skills

Everyone knows that drafting is one of the important skills that a lawyer needs for his/her career, but it is even more important to understand how one can develop this skill. We have listed below a few of the most important tips that are required to master the art of contract drafting:

Understand the Purpose 

Before starting the drafting of any document, the lawyer must be clear on the purpose for which the document has to be prepared. This will help in preparing the clauses that are in the interest of your client. Thus, before beginning the drafting process, collect all the information, such as parties involved, desirable goals of the client, facts of the case, legal issues involving the same, etc. 

For example: Drafting a partnership agreement have a purpose to settle a conclusive terms and conditions of partnership. Similarly, drafting a will deed also have a purpose of making an enforceable will for the client. 

Take help from samples

If one is not well versed in how to structure the content of the draft, it is always advisable to seek help from already present samples. These samples will not only help you form the structure for the present draft, but will also help in creating drafts in the future. You can easily find samples of multiple drafts such as contracts, agreements, civil and criminal drafts etc.

Note: it is always the drafter’s wit that does justice with the draft, so, it is not advisable for the young drafter to completely rely on the sample drafts. Every draft is unique owing to unique circumstances.

Create an outline

An outline is basically the skeleton of your draft, which you will use to prepare the main body. An outline helps the writer/drafter organise his thoughts and arrange the important  points in a systematic manner.

For example: suppose you are drafting a bail application then you should first prepare the introduction part in which you will be mentioning the name of the court, appellant etc, then you will move forward with the facts of the case, grounds for granting bail and so on.

Use correct punctuation and professional language

It is very important to use correct and proper punctuation while making a draft because wrong punctuation can completely change the meaning of the sentence, and this may have some adverse effect on your client’s interest. At the same time, one must try to use professional terms; this does not necessarily mean that you have to use complex words or jargon. It simply means that the language used in the draft must reflect your legal knowledge on the topic, and the draft must have a neutral tone without any biassed sounding clauses. 

For example- Do not use any biassed sounding clauses such as racial bias, gender bias etc. like “the respondent is a very strong man, and he won’t run away”, this will give a presumption that every man is strong, and they don’t run.

Take feedback from seniors

Good legal drafting has a lot to do with experience. You might be following all the steps, tips and what not, but your draft might lack in one aspect or another. This is nothing to worry about, because drafting only keeps getting better with experience and practice. Meanwhile, if you have just started drafting, try to get your draft reviewed by your peers and seniors and get constructive feedback from them. This one tip will help you a lot with every aspect of your legal journey. 

Re-read, edit and repeat

Once you are done with the final draft, you must proofread it with fresh eyes, as it will help you find out the tiny mistakes that you might have left out. Make the changes in the document and repeat this process once more to make sure that your draft is perfect!

Mistakes to avoid while drafting

A tiny mistake in a legal document can have major repercussions. Hence, it is very important to know about the common drafting mistakes so that you can avoid the same:

Use of complicated language

Usually, lawyers believe that the use of complicated words and language in the draft will make their document very impressive. But this is not the case, fancy words only make the language of the document complex, so it is always advised to use simple but clear language while making the draft. Collecting all the important data before making the draft also makes the task easier. 

Not mentioning the correct breach and termination clause

Termination or breach clauses are a very critical aspect of any contract because they lay down certain important details which eventually prevents any kind of breach of the contract or a complete termination of the same. Before making a draft, drafters must talk to their clients and note down under what circumstances they would like to get the contract terminated. The drafter must include such a breach or termination clause along with the clause of due notice. 

Not mentioning dispute resolution clauses

In every contract, parties get into disputes over any small or big issue, and It is the work of the drafter to talk to his client and the issues that his client is facing, and contemplate such issues and mention them along with a resolution procedure because termination of the contract for every little dispute is not possible. Mediation or arbitration is usually the most commonly used dispute resolution clause in contracts.

To know more about dispute resolution clauses, clink here.

Not checking for errors

One of the common mistakes that drafters commit is not checking and rechecking the draft after completing it, as it may seem like a boring task. But many times, tiny errors like typos, grammatical mistakes, etc. get skipped, leading to an ambiguous clause or contradiction in the draft. This can be avoided only by proofreading, editing and re-reading. 

Not adding Schedules in the draft

A schedule is a list of important documents that goes at the end of a contract and contains all essential parts of the same; skipping out schedules in a contract may make the contract look defective. Thus, drafters must try to incorporate Schedule at the end of a draft. 

The basic purpose of the schedule in any draft is to provide relevant and essential information such as list of all the documents used, references to all kinds of information, and other important data.

Reading skills

To become a successful lawyer and to develop a career in law, a law student or lawyer should possess strong foundations of skills and knowledge. And one of the most important skills that every individual who is in the law field should possess, is the reading skills. Because reading is something which we are often required to do whether it be reading judgements, arguments etc. here are some tips through which you can increase and polish your reading skills.

Tips to improve reading skills

Follow these tips to enhance your reading skills.

  • Read consistently- If you want to develop reading skills, then the first and foremost thing you should do is to remain consistent and read regularly. Reading consistently will help you in increasing the depth of your knowledge, and you will also remain updated on the legal development happening in the country.
  • Use reading tools- There are various kinds of tools and resources available online that can help you in reading more effectively and efficiently, tools like flashcards, summarization tools are a game changer when it comes to reading. With the helps of these tools, you can read faster, and you will also be able to acquire more knowledge in a short span.

Read beyond the law- Most of the lawyers and law students make a common mistake, and that is, they only read law books and stuff related to law. But to develop exceptional reading skills it is very important to read beyond law, such as reading politics, history, economics etc. because by doing so you will be able to have knowledge of other subjects too, and you will be able to understand legal issues with better understanding.

Negotiation skills

Negotiation is also an important skill that every lawyer must learn. Lawyers use their negotiation skills to settle the disputes of their clients peacefully without making any arguments. Negotiation is an art, and lawyers use it every day to settle the disputes of their clients. Other than drafting document skills and arguing for their clients, lawyers also need to have negotiation skills in their skill box. 

While carrying out a negotiation, lawyers perform three steps, namely- 

  • Preparation– It is the first step of negotiation in which both the parties prepare themselves and determine what they want from this negotiation. 
  • Information exchange– In this step, both the parties exchange their initial places and share their underlying interest and concerns, and convey what their aim is.
  • Explicit bargaining- This the main step of negotiation in which both the parties give counteroffers to one another and manage their concessions. During this step, it is very necessary for both the parties to remain confident and keep their emotions in check.

What is the importance of negotiation skills for lawyers

There are multiple scenarios in which negotiations have proved to be a game changer in settling disputes between parties. Negotiations are used as a tool to settle the disputes arising in a personal relationship or business peacefully and with a motive to protect the relationship between both parties and to successfully close a deal with mutual cooperation. Other than that, there are various other things that prove the importance of negotiation, such as:

  • Good negotiation skills can help you have a successful career. Because there is a lot of growth and scope in this field. If you develop good negotiation skills, you will be able to settle disputes and protect the relationship with your client, which in turn will provide you with long-term clients. Even though there is a dispute or difference in the opinion of parties. Negotiation skills help in settling those differences through a mutual decision by providing a good solution that focuses more on protecting the relationships and creating goodwill. 
  • If you are a lawyer, then you must learn negotiation skills and add them to your skill set, because this will provide you with a guarantee of increase in salary and profit. Also, it increases your reputation, and because of this, you will be treated as the first preference when it comes to negotiations.
  • Learning negotiation skills will help you overpower and dominate the other party’s lawyer in all the disputes. Unlike litigation and any other method, negotiation provides the best solutions to all the conflicts, and the procedure of negotiation is also not hectic and difficult. Negotiation provides for long-lasting solutions because both parties involved in a dispute make a concession only when they mutually agree on a satisfactory solution.
  • Through negotiation skills, you can not only solve the disputes of your client but also handle all the workplace conflicts, which in turn will increase your respect in front of all your colleagues. Negotiation brings both parties to a mutual decision, which decreases the chance of having future conflicts between both parties. 
  • Good negotiation skills lead to successful negotiation, and if any business is able to successfully negotiate with the other party, then they will be able to easily accomplish the goals and targets of their business. Thus, it will also result in the success of their business and will also help the business retain its clients and customers for a longer period of time.

How to improve negotiation skills

It is very essential for every lawyer and law student to improve and work on their negotiation skills. If you are not sure how to do it, then read below to learn how you can improve their negotiation skills.

  • Attend workshops and conferences related to negotiation- One of the best ways to improve your negotiation skills is by attending negotiation workshops and conferences. These workshops and conferences will provide you with knowledge about various practical skills involved in the negotiation process. You will also get to meet a lot of experienced negotiators during these conferences and workshops.
  • Get mentorship from experienced or senior negotiators- Experienced negotiators who have been practising for several years hold immense knowledge. Thus, if you get to work with a senior negotiator, you will get to learn from their guidance. Senior lawyers will also help you polish your negotiation skills.
  • Do regular practise– If you are a lawyer, then it is very necessary that you keep regularly practising all your skills. Regularly practising your negotiation skills will build up your confidence, and you will be able to deal with the issues of your client without hindering their relationship with the other party.
  • Become a member of a negotiation organisation or negotiation club– If you become a member of negotiation clubs and organisations, then you will get a chance to take part in various negotiation activities conducted by that organisation. You will also get to meet new and experienced people who are highly skilled in negotiation and know all about the negotiation process.
  • Doing internships at law firms that specialise in negotiations- If you are a law student and want to develop excellent negotiation skills, then one of the next ways through which you can improve your negotiation skills is by getting an internship opportunity at a law firm that deals with the negotiation process. This will provide a lot of practical experience and knowledge related to negotiation. 

Conflict resolution skills

Conflict resolution skills are one of those skills that law schools do not teach you, and you only get a hang of it when you enter the practical legal world. As a lawyer, you will need these skills either to solve the conflicts that occur between you and your client or, mainly, to solve the conflicts that your clients face. In either type of conflict, you will have to make sure that you come to a cordial solution by applying your conflict resolution skills and interests. 

While different lawyers have different approaches to managing a conflict, all the approaches are based on the same basic conflict management skills. Thus, when you are finding solutions to any conflict, make sure that you keep the following skills or tips in mind and apply the same:

Listening

When you go for conflict resolution, make sure that the first thing you do is actively listen to the concerns of your counterpart. In doing so, you will have to try to not defend yourself against each point that is put forward by the other party, but rather try to ask them questions to understand the core issues. Only after having understood the perspective of the opposite party should you start making your points. This will help you have an overview of problems from both sides.

Analytical skills

 If you develop your analytical skills, you will be able to evaluate complex information and identify the significant issues in a conflict, through which you can compare all the weaknesses and strengths of arguments of both parties. If you develop analytical skills, then you will be able to terminate the legal principles and facts very easily.

Communication

Communication is the key to reaching a resolution in a conflict. As an attorney for your client, you should make sure that you put the concerns of your client before the other party so that there is no room for misunderstanding and the resolution is carried out smoothly. 

Grip on legal knowledge

 In order to carry successful conflict resolutions, you should have a strong grip on all kinds of legal knowledge to resolve the disputes and issues of your clients. You can improve your legal knowledge by understanding and learning various statutes, relevant laws and regulations. Having a strong grip on the principles of tort law, contract law, and several other law subjects will give you the ability to apply legal reasoning in various scenarios. This will also help you to make efficient and fair resolutions of disagreements following the relevant framework.

Come to joint solution

Lawyers should follow a different approach in conflict resolution because it is not the same as litigation, where one party has to win against the other and disprove the point of the other party. In conflict resolution, lawyers must try to come up with a solution that will satisfy the concerns of all parties, rather than a solution that is one-sided. 

Address Multiple Issues

Parties in conflict resolution must put forward all their issues rather than arguing only on a single issue, as it will help in finding other opportunities for trade-offs and will also prevent stagnation of arguments. 

Communication Skills

Good communication skills are vital to a successful lawyer. No matter whether you want to become a criminal lawyer, corporate lawyer, tax lawyer, environmental lawyer or any other kind of lawyer, good communication skills are going to take you to great heights. Law schools mostly focus on the theory part and only teach the basic communication skills by means of moot court competitions or other such competitions. 

However, these skills are not enough in practical situations. Also, as a lawyer, when you communicate with anybody, you must reflect your knowledge of the law and not only stick with irrelevant facts.  As a lawyer, a person needs to communicate with clients, associates, magistrates, partners, etc. Thus, having a good communication skill as an attorney is very crucial because it lets you keep your point with confidence and influence other people in your favour.

Why are communication skills important for a lawyer

communication skills are an essential skill that is required in every field. If you are not good at communicating, then you won’t be able to handle your clients or customers. Because if you are not good at communicating, then you won’t be able to convey your motive to your clients, which will lead to an improper connection between you and your client, and because if this happens, your client will have difficulty trusting you or building a relationship with you.

On the other hand, if you are a good communicator, and you are able to assure your client that you are capable of settling their disputes, then they will easily build their trust in you and will consider you a skilled professional who can handle their problems. Communication is an art, and lawyers are artists; a lawyer’s profession is all about effective communication with his clients and other individuals. 

If a lawyer has good communication skills and is able to effectively communicate with his clients, then he can easily build great trust in himself. Having communication skills is very essential because if you are a good communicator, you will be able to build a strong relationship with your client, and in turn, you will provide satisfaction to your clients through your words and services.

How can lawyers improve communication skills

If you are a lawyer or even a law student, you already know the importance of communication in your profession. For all lawyers and attorneys, communication skills help in articulating their ideas confidently and clearly while representing their clients, resolving disputes and also settling negotiations. In all these things, communication plays a vital role.

Since communication is such a crucial thing for all lawyers, here are some tips on how to improve your communication skills as a lawyer.

  • Be a good listener first- To be good at communication, the first thing you need to do is have listening capacity, because If you listen carefully, you will be able to tell if that person is speaking lies or truth through facial expressions, tone, and language. And if you listen carefully, then you will be able to question properly, because asking the appropriate questions can make a huge difference in the results. Thus, in short, asking correct questions and listening carefully can help you  effectively represent your client.
  • Be attentive and focused- As a lawyer you need to remain attentive during the whole conversation happening between you and the other party or party’s representative to focus on their mistakes and faults. And giving attention can also help in conducting your research and documentation work. Thus, if you remain attentive, then you will be able to properly interpret, analyse and defend the case of your client by preparing the best arguments. 
  • Take communication training– There are few skills that are not taught in law schools, and one such skill is communication. But for a law student, communication is a very crucial thing. Thus, every law student must spend money on good communication training if they are not good at it. As a law student, communication skills can help you a lot in your law school when you participate in moot court competitions or several other competitions.
  • Understand the language of your client- Listen to what your client is trying to convey and focus on the tone, voice and body language. Be vocal with your client and make them feel comfortable so that they are able to communicate everything with you. Explain to them about all the things that you would do to resolve their dispute, and if you think your client is in confusion, explain things again and again to your client. 
  • Talk confidently- Clients hire lawyers because of their reputation, and they remain confident going with someone who has a good reputation. Thus, as a lawyer, talking confidently is one of the most crucial things that can help in retaining their client’s trust in the whole process, because if you are not able to build a relationship of trust with your clients, you will not be able to make them feel confident, and one of the ways through which you can do that is by speaking confidently with your client.
  • Openness– Be open with your client and don’t hesitate to ask questions because you don’t know whether they are speaking truth or not. So be open with your client and make him feel that he can speak to you openly about everything. Being open also means coming up with creative ideas to resolve the issues of your clients.  Creatively considering different strategies, options, ideas and other courses of action.

Networking

Networking is one of the most powerful skills of a lawyer. In comparison to other professions, networking is much more important to lawyers, and legal networking is also different from ordinary networking as it does not merely include simple conversation, but it also includes making a bond with the other person. If you’ll talk to any successful lawyer about how he/she built practice, their reply will definitely include the point about networking and relationships. The success of a good law practice depends on the relationships that one builds during their career. 

Reasons why networking is beneficial for lawyers:

By now, we know that networking is very important for lawyers. The potential benefits of networking for a lawyer are given below:

If a lawyer has networking skills, and he knows how to build strong relationships with other people, then he will be able to easily pull up multiple clients through referrals of other individuals with whom he has created a bond.

  • Scope of winning increases

Networking is not only limited to knowing people; it also extends to building long-lasting relationships. Knowing the right people in the right field can sometimes help a lawyer win or lose a case. For example- if a lawyer has just started practising and does not have much knowledge, winning a case for such a lawyer might be difficult. Having a connection with an experienced lawyer in the concerned field will help a lot in articulating the arguments. 

Law is all about knowledge, and with the evolving times, laws and the approach towards them also keep changing. Thus, interacting with peers from various fields helps in the exchange of crucial knowledge. 

One of the greatest advantages of having connections is that you can request that they refer you to their company or law firm for internships or job interviews. This helps a lot in at least getting your CV/resume reviewed by the institution and getting an opportunity to work for your dream firm.

Tips for strong networking

Here we have mentioned some Tips and tricks that will help you in achieving great networking relationships, read below to know all the useful tips for string networking.

  • Efficient use of social media- In the era of social media platforms, the approach of lawyers towards networking has also changed. Networking has become much easier due to the presence of platforms like LinkedIn. One can easily connect with their peers in their desired field of interest and even interact with them on the same platform.
  • Follow Ups- Follow up swiftly after your networking events. Contact all the legal professionals that you met during those events, send emails or texts to show your gratitude and keep your conversation going.
  • Active  participation- Participating actively and being in regular contacts showcase your interest and respect towards those people. Keep asking your questions and doubts with your networking connections and actively listen to the things they say, this will help you in building more authentic relationships in the future.
  • Building a rapport– Find individuals who have common interests and connect with them and build a friendly relation while networking. Being friendly and attentive with your connections will help you a lot in your long run.

Commercial awareness

This is also one of the most important skills that lawyers should have. In simple words, commercial awareness means having knowledge of all the developments happening in national, local and world business, specifically those things that impact a law firm and all its clients.

The legal field is all about understanding the businesses of clients and providing viable solutions to them. Thus, it is very important to have in-depth knowledge of all the current events to fully grasp the context of the work that you are working on as a lawyer. 

A client goes to a firm and expects that the associates and lawyers of that firm will understand their business and will protect them from any kind of political, social and economic issues. Clients expect their lawyers to be more than mere legal advisors. So as a lawyer, you need to understand the nuances of all the social, political and economic landscapes, how all this is affecting your client and his business, and what steps you can take to protect your client’s business. 

How to improve commercial awareness

These are the steps you need to follow to improve your commercial awareness.

  • Getting Practical experience- The best way to develop or improve commercial awareness is by getting work experience, because through this way, one can understand the minute details of a business and even give advice. It is difficult for law students to get jobs or work in any company during their law school, but they can take up internships in various law firms, companies, or startup firms to get a rough understanding of the business world. And as a lawyer, one can apply to their targeted firms or companies in their area of interest to get experience as well as get paid for it.
  • Connecting with Industry Experts– Before trying to get into the practical work, you should try to get into contact with the experienced or senior members of the industry who will help you get a better understanding of the practical aspects. This will also help you determine whether or not you have an interest in the particular field. The best way to connect with industry experts in this technological era is to approach them on LinkedIn, or you can even secure connections with your peers during the internship. Having conversation with the experts will help you a long way in your career, like bagging interviews, securing internships, etc.
  • Following the financial/ commercial news– As the name suggests, commercial awareness means being aware of the latest news in the business world. One of the best ways to do so is by following the business section of the renowned newspapers and trying to focus on the legal aspects of such news. 
  • Join commercial organisations and get exposure from places like bars, shops, law firms or call centres.
  • Listen to podcasts which talk about business strategies and businesses.
  • Read as many business publications as you can, such as the Economist, the Financial Times, etc.
  • Watch television programs which talk about business related stuff like shark tank etc. 
  • Join any committee and become a member of society or university club
  • Attend seminars and other conferences with business professionals and get enough exposure from there.

Technological skills

Today, when everything has become digital, having technological skills is very important. Whether you are a teacher, doctor or advocate, you need to have some technological skills required in your field. Similarly, advocates and lawyers need certain technological skills to make their work faster and easier. In current times, a lawyer who does not have technology skills is lagging behind other lawyers, no matter how experienced or old he is. With the development of artificial intelligence and some other software, learning technological skills has become very crucial.

Lawyers not only need technological skills for their work, but also for resolving the issues of their clients. Several people nowadays are falling for online scams and are becoming victims of cyber crimes. Thus, to deal with cybercrime, a lawyer must have sufficient knowledge about technology law and possess certain crucial technology skills. 

Gaining expertise in technology law and skills can take you places; you can land a high paying job in law firms and companies. You can also start your own practice and work for your clients. 

Why a lawyer needs to learn technological skills

 Widespread use of technology in legal profession post COVID-19 era 

The recent pandemic, which struck the whole world, taught us the need for technology skills. All the lawyers and judges have used technology for carrying out their work, from e-filings to virtual hearings. Everything was done with the help of technology. Thus, someone who was not skilled in using technology and didn’t have sufficient technology skills suffered a lot during the pandemic.

 We cannot predict anything, and the recent COVID-19 outbreak has proved it, because in the recent pandemic we witnessed online hearing of cases that happened on virtual platforms such as Zoom and Google. And in such situations, technology has proved to be extremely useful. 

Rise in cybercrimes

The wide use of this technology has brought with it several mischiefs and offences, and to deal with these mischiefs and offences, we require technology law such as Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act)

Since the number of cyber crimes and online frauds has also increased with the increase in the use of technology, it is important to know how to deal with all these crimes and frauds, and that’s where technology law comes into picture. 

Softwares for technology lawyers

There are multiple software that have come into the market to make the work of a lawyer easier and faster, some of those softwares are listed below:

  • Document management software– Lawyers use this software for the collection of data. This software helps them to store, organise, share and access all the documents with ease. Through this software, lawyers can easily store all their confidential files on cloud storage, and after that, they can access them from their smartphones and tablets anytime.
  • Accounting and finance software– This software is used by lawyers to make their work simpler and easier by managing and tracking all their profits and losses. Through this software, lawyers can also monitor their financial performance.
  • Billing software- This software is used to track the time a lawyer he/she spends on a case. 
  • Customer relationship management software- This software is mostly used by law firms. This software is very important for businesses as it assists in keeping company data in one place. With the help of this software, law firms can easily send bulk emails to all their clients; they can easily access the data of their customers, and they can also send multiple invitations and newsletters to their clients and customers.

When does a lawyer needs technology skills

Technology plays a vital role in a lawyer’s life and there are multiple reasons why a lawyer should learn all the technological skills, because the need of technological skills for a lawyer can arise at any moment, such as:

  • Registering a cyber complaint– Lawyers in the field of technology law must also know how to easily register a cyber complaint, because it is the first step through which you can help your client. If your client has become a victim of any cyber crime, then you will have to register a cyber complaint for his protection. And so it is very necessary to learn how to register a cyber complaint; if not, then you will end up losing your client.
  • Drafting a cyber complaint- If you are a technology lawyer, then you must know how to draft a cyber complaint. In the field of technology law, most of the cases that come up are related to cyber crimes and offences. Thus, to earn more money and attract more clients, you must develop the skill of drafting cyber complaints.
  • Researching skills- Nowadays, most lawyers use online resources and databases such as Manupatra and SCC for their research purposes, and this makes the work of lawyers very easy. With the help of these softwares, you can easily look for references and get relevant case laws for your research work. 
  • Better resource management- Earlier, junior lawyers were used to perform odd tasks like gathering, managing, storing and processing titles. With the help of technology and technological skills, all such work can be easily done without the help of any other person. Lawyers can easily store their data at one place and easily manage all their documents.

How to learn technological skills

Learning technology skills is not a difficult task; anyone can learn technology skills just by using their phone or laptop. We have mentioned a few things that you can do to develop or improve your technology skills.

  • If you are a law student, then join any law firm that specialises in the field of technology law. Through this, you will be able to learn all the practical technology skills that associates and lawyers use in their daily lives.
  • Get access to Manupatra, SCC or any other legal resource and perform all your research activities on those resources.
  • Research online and get a good technology law course that covers several important aspects of technology law. 

If you are someone who is interested in making a career in technology law, then go through this article and explore the opportunities available for technology lawyers.

Organisation skills

Lawyers perform multiple tasks in their working hours, whether it be drafting documents, examining witnesses, going to court hearings, typing, dealing with clients, managing case files, or networking with other advocates all in a single day. Thus, it is very necessary for a lawyer to divide his time mindfully and keep everything in an organised manner so that he doesn’t end up losing anything. Organising all these things is not an easy task, and not everyone is able to do it. But people who have organisation skills and people who know how to use their time can handle it very easily.

For lawyers, time, and organisation are everything because lawyers are paid for their time, and time is the most valuable thing for lawyers. Thus, developing organisational skills is crucial for a lawyer to become successful in his/her future.

Why are organisational skills important for lawyers

The profession of lawyer is filled with many challenging tasks, and one of them is handling multiple tasks at once. And to manage multiple tasks in a limited time is very essential for a lawyer to remain organised and keep everything ready. If a lawyer is not organised and lacks organisational skills, he/she will not be able to build a successful career in the field of law. 

He will not be able to handle all the tasks that he is required to perform and will end up losing his clients. Thus, developing organisational skills is very important for a lawyer. Following are some specific reasons to gain organisational skill- 

  • Long-term career goals- Organisational skills can help a lot in achieving your long term career goals, because if you are skilled in organising your work then you will be able to manage your work and time which will help you in developing your  career overall.
  • Creating positive reputation- Being organised and keeping your workplace organised will help you in creating a good reputation among all the members and juniors around you. Because if you keep your workplace organised and do all your tasks in an organised manner, then you will save a lot of time, and you will not bother anyone while you are doing your work. Thus, everyone will see you as a capable lawyer who handles all his work in an organised and neatly. 

What are the types of organisational skills

There are two types of organisational skills, 

  • Internal organisational skills; and 
  • external organisational skills.

Internal organisational skills are related to the mind, and they help you analyse all the complex issues so that you can create and come up with solutions. Some of the main examples of internal organisational skills are strategic thinking, creative thinking, etc. 

Whereas external organisational skills are those skills that are related to your physical capacity and include physical work. Like keeping your desk clean and tidy so that you can easily complete your tasks and locate your important documents. It’s basically how you set timelines for your goals, how you break down your goals into manageable tasks, how you coordinate and how you communicate with others. 

Having both of these organisational skills will make you a team member and will allow you to become successful in your legal field.

How to develop/improve organisational skills

It is very important for every individual to develop organisational skills to do great in their workplace. Being a lawyer or a law student, you can easily develop these skills through regular practice, self-discipline, and determination. Therefore, to make it easier for you guys, we have enlisted four ways through which you can easily improve your organisational skills.

  • Maintaining a tidy workplace- It is one of the easiest ways to enhance your organisational skills, just by keeping your desk clean and your files in one place. This will help you locate your files in no time, saving you the time you will waste searching for your files. You can achieve exceptional organisational skills just by arranging all your items and prioritising them based on their value and importance. However, by arranging all your items and documents, you will also know what documents are important and what documents are of no use. Once you start doing these things, you will observe an increase in your productivity.
  • Make your to-do List– Lawyers need to perform various tasks in their daily lives. And to make it easier to handle all the tasks, making a to-do list is very essential. Note down all the tasks you need to perform in a day so that you can keep track of all the tasks that you have done and the tasks that are pending. Note those tasks first that are more important and need quick action.
  • Coordinate with your co-workers– The skills of coordinating and communicating with your co-workers are very necessary in a lawyer’s life, especially if you are practising in a law firm or a senior lawyer’s office. Through coordination, you can build up your networking skills, which will help you in the long run.
  • Time management- Time is the most valuable asset that lawyers have; they get paid for the time they give to their clients. Thus, one of the most important organisational skills that every lawyer must have is time management. Planning, setting your goals and making decisions accordingly are the most important parts of time management. 

Case management skills

Case management is a very essential skill that every lawyer must have. This is the skill that will help you successfully win your case. Lawyers who are experienced or who have been practising for more than a decade handle an average of 10 to 20 cases, and this is only possible through correct case management.

There are certain things that you should keep in mind to improve your case management skills. We have mentioned some tips below that will help you improve your case management skills.

How to improve case management skills

Here we have mentioned some of the tips through which you can improve your case management skills. Follow these tips to have effective case management skills.

  • Organise all your case files– As soon as you begin with a new case, the first thing you should do is organise and keep all the files in one place. One of the most important benefits of arranging your case files is that you will be able to locate your files easily, and you will know if any file is missing or has been lost. Through this, you will be able to save a lot of time for yourself, and you will also be able to prevent any future mishaps.
  • Prioritise your task by your case– Lawyers have a long list of tasks they need to perform in a single day, and when you have so much work, it is important to give priority to those tasks that need quick action or those that are more important and urgent. For example, if you have two tasks from two different cases, but one case is going for a trial and in another case you just have to submit a document, in such a case you will prioritise your first case that is going for a trial.
  • Schedule your tasks– To make sure that you don’t miss any of your tasks, delegate your tasks to other people who can help you out. Track the deadlines of your tasks and schedule them accordingly. Schedule those tasks at first that are very important or whose deadlines have come really close.

Why does lawyers need case management skills

Every other lawyer and law firm nowadays is using case management software to keep themselves ahead of others and save time and energy. There are various reasons why you should use these case management skills and software for case management; some of those reasons are listed below.

  • Increase in effectiveness- If you are a lawyer who works in a law firm, then these case management skills can help you a lot in increasing the effectiveness of your firm because all the associates of the firm will remain updated with all the information of a case, and with the help of case management software, they can easily access all the information from their own devices. 
  • Helps in completing deadlines- If you have case management skills, then you will never miss any of your deadlines, because if you are managing your case in a correct manner, then you will know about all the deadlines and important dates of your case. 
  • Saves time- One of the greatest advantages of case management skills is that they help you save a lot of extra time, which lawyers often waste while looking for their case files, which are lost in their office. But if you have case management skills, and you arrange files in the correct sequence and according to the deadline, then you will be able to save a lot of time for yourself, which you can spend on any other important task.

Advantages of case management

There are multiple benefits of case management skills, and some of the most prominent skills of case management are listed below.

  • Case management helps you in increasing your productivity as well as profits. Lawyers who have a plethora of cases and who need to perform multiple tasks daily use the case management software to make their work easier and faster.
  • Case management software helps a lawyer in keeping all his crucial information safe at one place. With the help of case management softwares you will never lose any important data related to any of your cases.
  • Case management softwares also makes it easy to share and transfer all kinds of data and essential information to clients and team members. 

Social media skills

Social media is a great blessing for all professions if used correctly; similarly, for lawyers as well, social media platforms can be very effective and can increase their reach and network all over the world. Thus, currently, having social media skills are very necessary for every individual and businesses if they want to expand their work. 

With the help of social media, you can showcase your talent on social media platforms, you can speak about legal issues that are affecting society, and through these things, you can attract multiple clients who come across your videos or posts on any social media platform. Many young and budding lawyers are using these social media platforms to build their brand online, and it is helping them a lot in carving out a successful legal career. 

LinkedIn for lawyers and law student

LinkedIn is one of the most important social media websites that every law student and lawyer must use. LinkedIn can help you in getting internships, Jobs, Necessary information and several other important things. There are multiple tricks and tips which every lawyer and law student must know to use LinkedIn at its best. If you want to learn those tips and tricks, then keep reading. 

Tips for using LinkedIn effectively

  • Create a Professional personal page on LinkedIn, and upload all your achievements, because it will build a better impression.
  • Connect with professional and other high profile individuals of the legal industry.
  • Try to regularly post and remain active on LinkedIn, post blogs and articles that you feel are worthy of reading and will catch the eye of other people.
  • Follow all the important and famous legal organisations and law firms, and keep yourself updated with the opportunities they post on LinkedIn
  • Explore all the job and internship opportunities available on LinkedIn, and keep applying for those opportunities.

Why do lawyers need social media skills

Social media is a very powerful tool that every lawyer can use to promote their services and get more clients. Other than this, there are multiple other reasons why lawyers should have social media skills, such as:

  • Networking- One of the biggest advantages of using social media skills is that it helps all the lawyers increase their network and allows them to connect with multiple experienced professionals and get valuable insights from them. Lawyers can use their social media skills to reach out to a large number of people and create a network with people of the same passion. 
  • Increases engagement- With the help of social media platforms, lawyers can increase their engagement and preach their words and work to a larger number of people. Lawyers can respond and help other individuals by answering their questions and helping them out. And these social media skills can also increase the relationship of trust between a lawyer and his client. 
  • Monitoring of reputation– A lawyer gets clients through his reputation, and social media platforms are one of the greatest methods through which lawyers can build their reputation, and they can know what people talk about him and his work. Social media platforms help lawyers monitor their reputation online and respond to all kinds of positive and negative comments made about them.
  • Keep you updated with industry trends– Lawyers use social media skills to remain updated with all the legal trends happening in the legal industry. Lawyers can get access to all kinds of legal materials and resources on all the emerging issues, current affairs, and legal challenges by various legal organisations, blogs and other influential lawyers.

How can lawyers improve their social media skills

If you are a young lawyer or a law student, then you already know how to use social media platforms, but there are a few things through which you can enhance your social media skills and make the most of them.

  • Making good quality content– The first and the most important thing that a lawyer can do to improve social media skills is to learn how to create quality content that provides enough information to the audience.
  • Getting reviews– No one is perfect, and no work can be done perfectly, everything has some flaws which can be fixed. Similarly, you can know the shortcomings of your content that you upload on the social media websites by getting the review of viewers, and after that you can work on those things where you were lagging behind.
  • Being consistent– In order to improve social media skills, one of the most important things a lawyer can do is to remain consistent and regular because consistency is the key to master any skill. Similarly, if you remain consistent and post regularly on social media you will get to know a lot more about social media and how it works, and your skills will become more polished.
  • Understand the algorithm- All the social media platforms have some kind of algorithm; observe the legal contents that are posted on these platforms and see what kind of content is being promoted the most. If you make video content, then focus on the quality of your videos and use a hook at the start of your video. Post informational and quality contents that would attract other people.
  • Get a setup- If you want to become a legal content creator, then invest some money and prepare a setup of a camera and other useful tools. With the help of this setup, you will be able to make good quality content, which will ultimately receive greater reach.
  • Invest in social media training classes– When it comes to learning social media skills, there are several things that we normal users don’t know about and that you can only learn with the help of a professional. Thus, if you really want to have exceptional social media skills, then invest some money in a good social media course that will teach you about all the whereabouts of social media.

Generally, any type of solicitation or advertising is prohibited for lawyers. But they can set their website which indicates their name, address and area of practice. To take their legal career to a whole different level if they have the correct advertising skills. Nowadays, everything has become digital, and people spend more time on screens than on anything. Thus, if a lawyer advertises or promotes his services online in a smart indirect manner, he can attract a huge base of clients. All you need to have is the skills of indirect advertisement, and you should know how and when to promote your services. 

How can a lawyer improve advertisement skills

There are multiple ways through which a lawyer can improve his advertising skills, and some of the best ways are:

  • Social media platforms– If you are a lawyer and want to promote your services, then create a professional profile for yourself on all the social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms to advertise your services and skill set. Make a profile on LinkedIn, give a brief description of yourself and the services you provide, mention your skills and achievements, and that will help you attract more clients. Stay active on these social media platforms and keep posting about your achievements, skills, and the service you provide.
  • Networking- Networking is another best method through which lawyers advertise their services. They meet and build a network with several individuals, and they let them know about the services they provide. Through this method, a lot of references are given to them, and through this, they are able to land new clients. 
  • Internships and courses- If you are a lawyer who wants to advertise his services, then you can simply provide internships to law students, and you can also create your own courses. Because a lot of law students look for legal internships, and if you give legal internships to law students automatically, your name and services will be advertised on multiple platforms.
  • YouTube- Being a lawyer, you can also promote and advertise your work on platforms like YouTube by creating information videos for law students and lawyers. This will help you in showcasing your talent and knowledge to other people.
  • Seminars and webinars- You can easily promote and advertise your work if you conduct seminars and webinars in collaboration with other institutes. You can talk about your area of specialisation in law and how everyone can become good at it. You can have discussions with other people in the same field and everyone will get to know about your services and specialisation.

Document review skills

Document review is one of the most important skills that a lawyer must have. Lawyers review their documents to make sure that all the information provided in them is correct and there is no mistake present. Other than lawyers, there are other people who do the job of document reviewing, and they are known as document reviewers. 

Document reviewers are hired by lawyers and law firms to verify all the documents, contracts and other paperwork and make sure that everything is up to par. If you have sufficient document reviewing skills, then you can also get a job reviewing documents at any law firm.

How to improve document reviewing skills

  • Attention to detail- If you want to improve your document review skills then the first thing you should keep in mind is attention to detail and you have to check even the minor mistakes present in the document. Because if you don’t pay enough attention to their minor mistakes, then it can lead to significant consequences.
  • Understanding of legal knowledge– If you want to become skilled in document reviewing, then one of the most important things that you should learn is the procedures of courts and how they work. Knowing the stages of a lawsuit is crucial to becoming a skilled document reviewer.
  • Subject matter expertise- You must have enough knowledge about the subject related to the document. For example, if you are checking a will or a lease deed, then you must have enough knowledge of property law and family law, respectively. 
  • Technical skills- Technology plays a very important role in the reviewing of documents. If you have technological skills and know how to easily use all the legal software, you can easily review multiple documents without any difficulty.
  • Fluency in language- In order to become a document reviewer, you should also be fluent in the language in which you review the documents. It is also one of the most crucial things for document reviewing, because if you are not fluent enough in the language, you will take a lot of time reviewing a single document, and if you have enough fluency, you will be able to easily review all the documents and make all the corrections.

The legal profession is full of challenges, but you can overcome all the challenges if you have the required skills. If you are highly skilled and have enough expertise in the field of law, then you can easily make a successful legal career. In this article, we have talked about several crucial skills that a lawyer must have. We hope that you have gone through all the skills, and now you are ready to work on the skills you lack for a better legal career. Thus, if you are a lawyer, then you must try to achieve all the skills that are mentioned here, because these skills will help you remain ahead of other lawyers, and you will also be able to land several clients for yourself.

When should we start developing legal skills?

There is no time period on when to start, but it would be best if you start as early as possible. If you start developing legal skills during your college time, then you will have less difficulty in finding clients once you get into the legal profession.

What is the most important skill that every lawyer must have?

The most important skill that every lawyer must have, no matter in which field he is working, is the skill of drafting contracts and agreements. 

How to learn drafting skills?

The best way to become skilled in drafting all kinds of contracts and agreements is through getting an online course of drafting that provides in depth classes and assignments related to drafting. Along with that, one could also work under a senior to brush up the drafting skill they learnt in drafting courses.

Does a lawyer need negotiation skills?

Yes, a lawyer definitely needs negotiation skills, because with the help of correct negotiation skills a lawyer can easily represent his client in front of another party, and close the deal mutually without disturbing the relationship between both the parties.

What is the importance of networking skills in a legal career?

Networking plays a very important role in the life of lawyers and law students, because networking is one of the best methods through which they get clients. Even if a lawyer doesn’t possess other skills, but if his networking is strong, he will get more clients than the client who’s got more skills.

Are communication skills important to have a good legal career?

Just like any other skill as mentioned above, communication skills are equally important for lawyers to have a successful career. In fact, communication skill is one of the most important skills that a lawyer can have as it helps in building many other skills such as conflict  resolution skills, client counselling, arguing skills etc. 

How can I develop reading habits as a lawyer?

Reading is one such skill which can enrich the knowledge of any person, be it lawyer, businessman or any other ordinary person. A lawyer must develop a habit of reading good articles from standard sources, Live Law or Bar and Bench. You can start by reading one article per day and slowly increase the number to 3–4 articles per day. This will also help in enhancing legal knowledge of the readers. 

When should a law student start working on developing their legal skills?

There is no hard and fast rule as to when a law student should develop their legal skills, but to form a strong base, a law student must start working on their soft legal skills such as communication and networking, starting from the first year itself. And they can start working on other  legal skills from second year onwards. 

As a law student, how can I learn contract drafting skills?

Law students usually find less learning opportunities to hone practical skills in their law schools. But as a law student, one can easily learn drafting skills, by taking up online drafting courses and taking up internships in law firms. 

How can I start networking with legal fraternities?

The best way to make connections in this technically advanced era is through the LinkedIn platform. Apart from that, a law student can make connections/relations with the lawyers, associates they intern under. Cold emailing is another option. 



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