In today’s hyper-competitive legal industry, it’s crucial for lawyers to continuously develop their skills to gain a competitive edge. As the last couple of years have shown, the legal sector is relatively dynamic—and lawyers who don’t sharpen their skills and keep up with the latest technologies risk falling behind.
Besides pursuing the mandatory CLE credits, lawyers need to embrace current technologies and seek ways to hone their skills through formal or informal lawyer training. This post will discuss why continued training is essential for lawyers and the competency tips for staying on top of training.
Why Ongoing Training Is Important for Lawyers
There are several reasons why lawyers should have continued training. Here’s a look at some of them:
Most legal employees consider professional development vital to their personal effectiveness, career enhancement, and job satisfaction. Therefore, law firms that invest in ongoing personnel training are better positioned to attract the best talent and can effectively tailor their legal services to their client’s changing needs.
Law firms that invest in continued staff training also benefit from increased staff motivation and well-being. Legal staff appreciate employers who offer training programs to help them acquire the necessary skills and competencies to remain competitive in their specialist markets and to advance within the organization.
According to a recent study, organizations that invest in ongoing staff training have a 24% higher profit margin compared to those that don’t.
So, why is this the case? The market evolves rapidly and so requires that organizations adapt to these changes. If your law firm stays the same despite market changes, the chances are that it will fall behind.
Continuous staff training can help you remain competitive regardless of market changes. When your legal staff has the knowledge and skills to meet your client’s diverse changing needs, you stand a better chance of outperforming your competition.
The legal industry is one of the industries experiencing the highest staff turnover rate. In fact, a 2021 report found that the associate turnover rate was 23.2%. With such high turnover rates, law firms spend a lot of money recruiting and training staff.
One way law firms can improve their staff retention rates is by offering their employees ongoing training. Lawyers tend to be more loyal to a firm that offers them training opportunities. This is because the training serves as a channel through which they can improve their earning potential and advance their career.
7 Competency Tips for Staying on Top of Training
Lawyers should have a wide range of soft and hard skills to continue being successful. As you look to advance your law career, here are some competency skills you need to develop to stay on top of training:
- Excellent Communication Skills
Excellent verbal and written communication skills are vital in the legal; without them, lawyers can struggle to perform their duties. Lawyers should have excellent public speaking skills to convincingly argue their case so that the jury and the judge see its merit. You can improve your oral skills by engaging in activities such as public speaking.
Lawyers should also have strong written communication skills, given that they conduct a lot of legal writing—this means they should be able to write clearly, succinctly, and persuasively. You can improve your written skills by practicing and applying writing techniques like context creation and vocabulary usage.
Accuracy is an important skill in the legal profession. A single grammatical error or spelling mistake can give clients a bad impression, resulting in your firm losing business.
You need to pay more attention to detail and proofread various documents to avoid such costly mistakes.
- Analytical and Research Skills
Research is a big part of the legal industry. You’ll need to be able to conduct extensive research to understand your clients and what their needs are and to prepare your legal strategy. Additionally, you should analyze large volumes of information and break them down into more manageable bits.
You can hone research skills by familiarizing yourself with library and internet sources. On the other hand, you can improve your analytical skills by taking large documents and contracting them.
- Organization Skills
As a lawyer your professional life is one big juggling act—you need to meet clients, manage case files, research cases, draft contracts and legal documents, network with other legal professionals, and attend court. Without good organizational skills, you can easily become overwhelmed.
Training can help you to hone organization skills to be able to effectively prioritize between different competing tasks.
- Creative Problem Solving
While most people think the legal industry requires little or no creativity, that’s not the case. To become a successful lawyer, you need to not only be logical, but you should also be able to display creativity in your problem-solving. This means thinking outside the box to outmaneuver your opponent to secure a positive result for your client.
- Commercial Awareness
To be commercially aware means having a deep understanding of business news and current affairs and how these developments will likely affect your law firm and your clients.
Law firms are businesses. And so, lawyers need to understand the importance of keeping costs low, meeting deadlines, handling information confidently, and billing clients. You can improve your commercial awareness by browsing specialist websites, reading legal business publications, and watching business-related videos and programs.
- Time Management
As a lawyer effective time management is another essential trait that you need to develop. Typically, legal services are charged on a per-hour basis, meaning you should stay on track when performing your day-to-day tasks to generate the maximum income.
Proper time management requires you to schedule and track your time with clients and efficiently allocate time to various tasks, including research, information gathering, and compiling paperwork.
You can use time tracking software to track the duration you take working on tasks and expenses incurred during working hours so you can accurately invoice customers.
Get Started with LawBillity
The legal industry is constantly evolving and becoming more competitive. This requires that lawyers undergo continuous training and embrace new technologies to remain competitive.
LawBillity has several features that can help ensure your law firm becomes more productive, including legal time tracking, legal expense tracking, legal billing and invoicing, and workflow and process automation. Try LawBillity for 14 days for free and reduce administrative time.