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Lawyers spend an inordinate amount of their training learning the black letter of the law—the hard skills of practice. They often think that so-called soft skills are undeserving of their attention.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Your client—whether it be in-house or in private practice—will take technical competence as a given. You should be more than just a walking law book spouting out legal titbits like some soulless cyborg. If you are a commercial lawyer, it is increasingly the case that your client will expect you to act more like a businessman or woman, albeit it one with a solid background in the law and with certain professional obligations.
The other day, I spoke with James Harper, the in-house Head of Legal for LexisNexis UK, to see what tips he could offer to lawyers—both new and old—to fine-tune these soft skills. Here are his top ten tips (as translated by me):
So there you go. Knowing how busy you are we'll let you crack on with your (unfeasibly successful) day. Aren't we good?
As always, if you any thoughts on this post, do let us know. There's a nifty box below where you can pop in your thoughts or even questions if you are feeling bold...
PS James also chaired the recent Lexis®Webinar on drafting commercial contracts. If you have a subscription to this service, it is well worth having a peek. If you don't subscribe, details of how to do so are set out on that page.
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