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  • Kirsten Keith

4 Skills Every Attorney Should Sharpen

Growing a successful law firm requires more than just the legal expertise you and your team bring with you from law school. In fact, soft skills in the workplace are just as valuable to the well-being of your practice.


The following four skills are especially significant as you grow and maintain your firm.


Passion


No matter how long you have been practicing law, you are well aware of the time and energy that working in this field demands.


Long hours in the office, focused critical thinking, and copious amounts of stress are not for everyone. Maybe you have even questioned what led you to this line of work.


And that’s where passion comes in.


For some, that passion lies in the unique opportunity to serve others and further public good in their communities. For others, it may be the intellectual challenge that each day presents.


Wherever you find yourself, work will always be crummy if you don’t have a clear purpose in mind for why you do what you do. Frequently revisiting your “why” for practicing law can be energizing and inspiring to not only you, but your entire legal staff.


Adaptability


One of the inevitable truths of working in the legal atmosphere is that things are ever-changing. From the laws themselves to best practices and technology, what was true yesterday might not be true today.


Adaptability and resilience go hand in hand. Challenges are sure to present themselves in the everyday pace of practicing law. However, the way you react to these changes will determine how successful your firm is amongst competitors.


The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is a timely example. Along with many other types of businesses, law firms saw the opportunity to go digital and continue to provide their services amidst the uncertainty of the spreading virus.


Firms who made the most of these unforeseen circumstances found similar, if not more, success across various facets of their firm. Areas such as client in-take, case management and client communication continue to see increased efficiency and greater long-term sustainability with the aid of technology brought about by the pandemic.


Focus


While it is not unique to law firms only, being able to concentrate on the task at hand is absolutely vital as an attorney or member of a legal staff.


I get it, a typical day in the office is chock full of less than exciting tasks. It might seem monotonous to read through loads of paperwork and email after email, but attention to detail could be the difference between winning your client’s case and them walking away with nothing.


Each case deserves your undivided attention when you sit down to work on it. After all, these people have entrusted an extremely vulnerable portion of their life to your care.


Work Ethic


You are well aware of the importance of this skill because, well, you didn’t just become a lawyer overnight.


Fighting legal battles takes time and persistence, and is certainly not for the faint of heart.


Having an intrinsic desire to put forth your best effort every time you enter the office is the first step to a productive day. The lawyers who prosper in their career have surely mastered this principle.


Something to consider: Productivity does not mean burn-out.


It is so easy for lawyers to become overwhelmed, yet disguise it as “hard work.” The truth is you can run a successful firm while still maintaining a balance in your work life.


Plan out your day and devote appropriate time to each task that needs to be done. Factor in time for a few breaks, and delegate tasks as needed.


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Combining your legal expertise with these four invaluable skills will prepare you for any challenge that awaits you. Bolster your business by sharpening these abilities at every opportunity

you get.


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