In the digital era, having a strong set of hard skills doesn’t guarantee employment. In fact, some companies are more likely to hire a candidate who is less seasoned, but more apt to keep up with the company culture. Quite a few of them believe that WHO the candidate is and HOW they think is much more important than WHAT they know. The expertise can be amped up through professional training while changing personal habits is almost mission impossible.
So yes, having proper soft skills is essential in any professional domain. But for a corporate lawyer, it’s an absolute must-have. In this blog post, we talk about 3 skills that HR professionals value in candidates for a corporate lawyer position. Take a good look at them to understand what you should focus on in your career.
Ability to Collaborate Effectively
In today’s corporate world where collaboration is king, a traditional it’s-your-job-do-it-yourself approach leads businesses to a dead end. Instead, companies choose to foster a culture of mutual help. In the legal industry, it means engaging members of other teams that are most likely to be affected by the outcome of a legal process. A corporate lawyer is expected to collaborate with employees from other departments in a smooth, efficient manner.
In today’s corporate world where collaboration is king, a traditional it’s-your-job-do-it-yourself approach leads businesses to a dead end.
On top of that, legal professionals are often responsible for building rapport with vendors. To develop sustainable client relationships, corporate lawyers need to be responsive and open-minded.
Communication is key to any successful collaboration. Legal professionals should relentlessly improve their manner of interaction with other team members. Practicing active listening, negotiation skills and the ability to respond to a variety of situations should be on top of their agenda. A good company lawyer is the one who helps all the parties understand legal processes better, reduces friction between the teams, and ensures an excellent customer experience.
To navigate this brave new world of collaboration, corporate lawyers can arm themselves with advanced digital tools. One of them is AXDRAFT. This tool makes it easier to create and manage documents as a team. In particular, it allows you to invite your colleagues and counterparties to draft legal documents in collaboration. Working together, you’ll get your document finalized and approved much faster and with less friction.
Staying on the Frontier of Innovation
These days, every job description mentions the ability to work in a fast-changing environment. But what exactly does it mean in the legal field?
Simply put, it’s all about the awareness of the latest legal trends and technologies. You must stay on top of developments in the digital world, being flexible and open to brand-new methodologies and tools. These include digital instruments geared toward remote collaboration and document flow, which gains new relevance in the time of social distancing and work from home.
To develop this skill, try making it your daily habit to research the latest trends, both digital and legal. Joining a few professional communities will certainly help. To have the latest information at your fingertips, check out dedicated online resources, such as Artificial Lawyer, LawGeek, Law Technology Today.
Every business has its best practices, but tapping into this resource is not always easy. The problem is that quite a few legal professionals simply keep those to themselves. So, when someone leaves a company, so does their know-how. A newly hired lawyer ends up spending too much time adjusting new legal operations and often makes mistakes that could have easily been avoided.
Quite a few legal professionals keep their best practices to themselves. So, when someone leaves a company, so does their know-how.
Building an ecosystem of accessible knowledge is vital. To this end, companies often create a knowledge hub that lawyers can consult. Keeping a record of winning solutions and success cases is a great help for legal operations managers and other legal professionals. Knowledge-sharing saves time, helps reduce risks, and ensures satisfaction across the cross-functional teams. It’s no wonder then that HR professionals search for corporate lawyers who document their best practices and are well familiar with a knowledge management system.
Soft skills are just as important for a corporate lawyer as hard ones. Without strong communication skills, your chances of getting a vendor’s approval are slim. And without collaboration with employees from other departments, you can hardly draft legal documents properly. Experience and document management skills are also on the recruiters’ priority list as another two characteristics of an excellent team player. On top of that, don’t forget to keep up with the latest legal tech trends. Be sure to master those digital tools that can complement your skills and boost your efficiency.
If you’re planning to apply for the position of legal operations manager, check our recent blog post. There, you’ll find plenty of useful information on what really matters when you work in legal ops.