Lawyer Of The Future. What Hard And Soft Skills Should Be In A Lawyer’s CV?
As strange as it sounds, our daily life is a process of constant buying and selling. We sell our knowledge and skills, provide services, and buy the services of other professionals. It is no longer possible to imagine life without this process. And the quality of our lives often depends on the ability to correctly present ourselves and form a price for our services.
A good CV is a chance to get a new job, to present yourself, to get new partners and open new opportunities. This is like the first impression someone gets when meeting you. If you have a worthy CV, you will dictate whom you work with and under what conditions you will work, and not vice versa.
The time for old school lawyers has passed.
The client no longer wants to spend time on the long process of obtaining services, and a lawyer can be more profitable if he automates work to become really effective. On the one hand, this transition to technology is pleasing, but on the other, we are confronted with fears from traditional lawyers that automation will take away their work. Why is the second group wrong?
Automation is primarily about efficiency. Every year, hundreds of thousands of law graduates bury their ambitions in routine work. They are not effective; they spend more time on the process of providing services than the service itself, numbing their career, along with the desire of clients to use the services of a lawyer. Technology can change this. And it is necessary to upgrade the lawyer’s effectiveness.
There are many skills lawyers of the future (and to be honest — a lawyer of the present) should have on their CV to be in professional demand.
So, what skills should a modern lawyer have?
Professional and Personal Continuing Education
We live in an age of multitasking. Now, in order to be a good lawyer and progress in your career, you need to think like an entrepreneur. This includes a basic knowledge of finance, marketing, PR, and growth hacking tips. It’s not necessary to perform all these functions independently. But if you are a lawyer who plans to build a career that does not depend on anyone except your clients, you need to have this knowledge.
You can learn more about professional and personal development through courses like Stanford Continuing Studies. They are designed to enhance your skills in management, finance, strategy, marketing, and other key areas.
Using Social Media as a way of presentation
A profile on Twitter and Linkedin can tell a lot about a person. You should show your relevant experience, professional and personal achievements, skills and strong points. You should have a professional profile picture, an elegantly outlined experience section and even a few recommendations to round it all out. The number and quality of the connections you have can also demonstrate your communication abilities. You may not be a professional writer, and may not have 15 years of work experience, but creating content on LinkedIn or Twitter is a great opportunity to be seen as a thought leader in your space. When you want to apply for a new job or a promotion, your social media presence will help boost your career.
Public speaking skills are important for everyone, regardless of their situation. However, historically lawyers have needed to be more logical and patient than charismatic to be able to communicate their ideas. Their speeches were limited to court appearances. For the modern lawyer this situation has changed. Nowadays, lawyers have the opportunity to automate their services, but a part of their success depends on their presentation skills.
In addition to appearances in court, a lawyer should be able to pitch from a big stage at relevant conferences, summits, and other events. This is a good way to make your name recognizable, to get into the media. This approach is more emotional, and therefore more catchy for the audience. Pitches in a Pecha Kucha style at large international conferences are also a kind of quality guarantee. You can include the information about the events you pitched at in your CV. We will talk about details on how to make a presentation in future articles. However, the main secret is practice. Great examples of public speaking are speeches by Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs.
You can create a product or service that will change the legal services market, but if nobody knows about it, it is unlikely to have success.
The ability to implement legal design thinking into projects
Legal design thinking is the cross-discipline of Legal Thinking, Design Thinking, Visual Thinking, and User Experience Design. Design Thinking relates to the law since it focuses on improving the quality of life with services. It can make complex stories more tangible and easier to grasp. This method is widely used by companies to improve conversions in sales and their communications with users.
Through legal design, the legal profession can increase innovation and their competitive edge. According to research by the Design Management Institute, design-led companies such as Apple, Nike, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past decade by a staggering 228%. A design basis has since been incorporated by other service-related industries. The legal design is the driver for increased innovation, creativity and change within the legal industry.
Design thinking is a specific approach with stages such as empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and testing solutions to make sure they meet the end-users’ needs. It’s a methodology that aims to understand the clients’ needs at the start and keep them in mind throughout the process.
One example of using Legal Design in action is the law firm DWF Ventures. The company has already been using Legal Design to engage lawyers with document automation software and create an industry standard that shows how to benchmark contract management. This approach connects technology and service with their people. Given the speed in which technology is disrupting the legal space, the need for this human-centric approach will increase.
Coding for lawyers
For a lawyer, the ability to code is not so important, but it is important to know how tech products can be implemented in work to make it more efficient. Hackathons, conferences and other tech-related events will help someone without a technical background better understand it.
Nowadays, every lawyer can create solutions that will help optimize the working process. For example, useful chatbots. The form.one platform makes possible to create chatbots for different needs. A lawyer just needs to figure out what questions chatbot should be able to answer. Other concerns will be solved by the platform.
For those lawyers interested in deep understanding of technology, there is a Center for Legal Informatics at Stanford — CodeX, where you can find lots of courses and events about coding.
It’s also possible to find some information on platforms like Medium. Pritzker School of Law, Michigan State University College of Law, Duke Law Tech Lab at Duke University and others have created legal tech labs, in which the lawyers can find info about legal tech.
Also, the Legal Hackers Community can help get inside this ecosystem and create a great network around the world.
How the perfect CV should look like?
It is important to be able to make a design for your CV. Don’t make it in Microsoft Word, which would be a signal that you are not current with technology. You can use certain services that will help you create a high-quality CV. For example, CV Compiler can analyze a tech programmer’s resume and help to improve it, and lawyers can improve their CV in the same way. You can also use Canva or CV-builder Zety to make a great CV design or even better — to make a website about yourself on the Wix or Tilda.
So, what does the modern lawyer look like? He learns new things, participates and presents himself in international events, knows the basics of technology, and understands personal branding. A modern lawyer appreciates his time and works on the result. Thanks to technology, he can work remotely. For example, he knows how the use of the Case.one platform could help him optimize his work process. He is inside the legal tech ecosystem in the world, is a participant in the global Legal Hackers movement, participates in hackathons, and has an active role in social networks.
It is also important to participate in different competitions, including marathons or triathlons. This shows you as a person with a fighting spirit, which is also reflected in your business approach. Your success depends on personal branding.
Jurisprudence is changing. Lawyers who do routine work should give it to special automation services, and leave themselves with the ability to think critically and find the best solutions to the client’s problems based on their emotional intelligence, creativity, and the way they use technology, all of which can only be done by a human. Anyone can choose how they should spend their time, and how to add innovation to their careers.