You’ve come a long way, lawyer… It hasn’t been that many years, but the evolution of the role and demands on lawyers has been very great. I found ten attributes that we are not taught in college and that today are necessary to be a good lawyer in the competitive environment of business law Law tutoring. Namely:
In the last century, lawyers in large firms distinguished themselves by having some professors, knowing how to speak English , handling themselves comfortably in international settings and having access to market operators , both in companies and in the large State apparatus.
2. Knowledge of the economic sector and client strategy
With the arrival of Anglo-Saxon law firms and the increase in competition, expectations also increased: to be a good lawyer it was necessary, in addition to having the deep technical knowledge that was already assumed at a certain level, to know the economic sector of your client. and your strategy to be able to anticipate problems or opportunities and act as a business advisor.
3. Project facilitator
Clients appreciate that the lawyer is decisive and pro deal , that he does not tell them that something cannot be done but rather how to do it so that it is safe and legally protected. All this, with responsibility and maintaining independence, with the ability to stop when the risk is not advisable.
4. Expert recognition
Currently, clients are very sophisticated, either because they are lawyers who hire lawyers from companies, or because of the access that anyone on the Internet has to legal information. Specialization is essential, clients not only look for their lawyers to know the law, but they look for leaders in each subject, so to become a good lawyer, personal branding and visibility as a recognized expert is a pillar for business development.
You not only have to do the job well, but get it done. In the offices, compensation systems have changed. It is no longer enough to work, lawyers must generate business to be promoted and even to access variable remuneration.
6. With international alliances
In a globalized world, business lawyers are asked to collaborate with their clients in the internationalization process . This involves agreements of different kinds, from opening its own offices abroad, joining a global firm, participating in an exclusive alliance, Best Friends networks , or bilateral pacts with law firms from jurisdictions of interest.
7. A bit of a psychologist
The management of the relationship with clients also came to the fore, the important thing is not only to do good legal work, but also that the client perceives it that way. Quality is what the client understands to be quality and here skills that no one taught us in college come into play: emotional intelligence, empathy, interpersonal communication, frustration management and a huge etcetera.
8. A bit of an engineer
Clients no longer accept that we bill them by the hour . This requires us to budget before starting an assignment and then manage the project so that it is profitable . The use of AFA (Alternative Fee Arrangements) and within them, success bonuses, are an advantage for clients who are looking for more than just a means in a lawyer, but rather an ally in business. The client no longer views favorably that no matter what happens, the lawyer wins.
9. Good communicator and good with the keys
When we thought we couldn’t ask for more, technology burst into our lives, shattering the promotion models we used . From a closed and controlled model in which firms believed they were protecting against the theft of professionals by excluding young lawyers from the web, the review by each member of the board of directors of a press release and the code of ethics prohibiting almost everything, to updating the CVs of each lawyer independently on LinkedIn, publishing tweets with photos in real time and capturing opportunities on web platforms. Many see it as a burden or new risks, but in reality it is a world of opportunities for anyone who can provide quality, useful content in a digestible format online.
10. Give more value than what machines give (or will soon give)
Legal quality is no longer knowing the applicable law, today you have to give much more to be chosen. New ways of practicing law have emerged in which information and project management systems are shaping different professions within the legal profession. Commodity advocacy is fungible and is only profitable if it is extremely efficient. On the other hand there is the legal profession based on trust, that of hyper-specialization, that of the lobby and that of the business advisor. The problem is that there are many fighting to eat that cake.