Skills you'll develop from a law degree

June '18
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Written by The [Pre]Lawyer in Black

 

As an almost lawyer, I started my blog to help my successors navigate the study of law. I provide tips and insights from my own experience, lessons learned and things I wish somebody had told me when I started on this journey. 

 

I’ve partnered with study101 to outline some of the skills you will develop from a law degree, and how these will help you in the working world, so that you may become more informed and prepared if a legal career is the pathway you’re thinking of taking. 

 

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Attention to Detail

 

This skill will be emphasised in every legal position you apply for. It’s probably the most fundamental and is essential to possess if you want to work in the legal industry. 

 

If you neglect the details, it can have ramifications – even a misplaced comma can be enough to land you in trouble. It does get better over time, but it’s important to start focusing on developing this skill during your studies. 

 

Do:

  • Go over the finer details of your notes and assessments multiple times, and ensure you haven’t, for example, written s 32 instead of s 23.

 

Don’t:

  • Start your assessments the week before they’re due so there is no time to proofread.

 

Time Management

 

Whichever direction you go, you will have many tasks at any one time, all with differing deadlines. This is on top of the urgent tasks that inevitably will come up. You’ll need to be able to organise your time so that you can complete everything. 

 
A law degree will prepare you for this from day one – readings, questions, practice exams, lectures, with the only due date being an exam. It may seem daunting at first, but developing your own system of staying on track will hold you in good stead in the workforce. 

 

Do:

 

Don’t:

  • Leave everything until the study period.

 

Analytical Thinking

 

You should learn pretty quickly that nothing in the law is black and white. There are always exceptions (and exceptions to the exceptions). Considering the flip side is crucial going into any legal role. 

 

To give effective advice you’ll need to be able to review the evidence in front of you and form an argument, whether it’s in your favour or not.

 

A law degree prepares you with problem questions, which get you in the habit of gathering facts, weighing them up, and taking a stance on the likelihood of success.

 

Do:

  • Practice problem style questions and utilise assignment and exam feedback.

 

Don’t:

  • Restate the law and focus just on the favourable arguments.

 

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Finding the Answers
It can be scary entering the legal world. You will not be spoon-fed resources and will be expected to try to find the answer yourself first. The good thing is, your time at university will have taught you how to research until you’ve find an answer.

 

I encourage you to attend refresher courses on offer at universities and workplaces. We live in an information age, so take advantage of new ways to find the answers you seek.
 


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