Key Skills Junior Lawyers Need To Succeed

Key Skills Junior Lawyers Need To Succeed

F-Lex was delighted to welcome Sarah Hunt, Neil Campbell, and Emma O’Connor as guest speakers at their latest Virtual Lunch in collaboration with LexisNexis and Crafty Counsel. Sarah is Head of People Development at Osborne Clarke, Neil is Managing Legal Counsel at RBS, and Emma is the Talent Development Manager at Dentons. The topic for the call centered around the key skills that junior lawyers need to succeed, with the speakers drawing on their own experiences to offer excellent insights to attendees.

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As noted by Sarah, many interviewees try to adapt their answers to fit what they believe the panel wants to hear. Although it is good to relate your experiences to the firm, it is important to remain true to your motivations. There is such a thing as the ‘right’ firm for you, you just need to find it. When discussing things that genuinely interest you, your passion comes across and this paints you in a good light. Your experiences and motivations are individual to you, so use this opportunity to stand out and be yourself!


Given the demanding nature of the legal industry, resilience is key. The ability to quickly adapt to setbacks and elements outside of your control is important to being a successful lawyer. It is also important for managers and team leaders to build a culture that is accepting of mistakes, and encourages active learning from them. In doing so, both development and a transparent culture are encouraged. Understanding why something happened and how to move past it is valuable, and demonstrates a strong sense of self-awareness in junior lawyers.

Emotional Intelligence

Being able to take responsibility and acknowledge failure is critical in improving yourself as a lawyer. Self-awareness allows you to be analytical of your own performance in situations and recognise where your ‘blind spots’ are. Similarly, it is vital to adapt to the client and empathise with them to gain a true understanding of their needs. As Emma men

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About the author:

Sophie is Head of Learning & Development at F-LEX Legal - an award winning legal tech startup helping law firms and organisations manage a flexible work force and supporting lawyers to make smarter life/work choices. 

As part of her portfolio career Sophie runs various learning and development and networking forums for in-house lawyers and mentors junior lawyers.  These include Flying Solo for small and solo legal teams and Aspire for junior in-house lawyers which she runs for LexisNexis UK.  She also works with schools and organisations to promote social mobility within the legal profession, working with The Social Mobility Business Partnership and Aspiring Solicitors. 

She trained as a lawyer in the City and worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group.  

Outside of work she is happily married with three sons and enjoys morning walks along the beach with her two dogs.