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5 core skills to unlock career success

In the 21st century, being a successful lawyer demands more than just legal expertise. To build a long-lasting and thriving career, lawyers must continuously enhance their skill sets to ensure they have the necessary tools to achieve their professional goals.

user iconLawCPD 16 March 2023 Careers
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We’ve highlighted five key CPD courses that will help you to develop skills essential to unlocking career success, regardless of your seniority. Keep reading to discover why each of these skills is crucial for building a thriving career and learn practical tips you can implement immediately.

Unlock career success with these 5 skills-focused CPD courses:

Core skill 1: Effective communication


Effective communication is at the core of legal practice, from writing letters of advice to representing clients in court. By effectively using body language, active listening and plain English, lawyers can foster trust, build rapport, and cultivate key relationships.

A practical tip to improve your communication style is to focus on your core message. To sort through your thoughts and deliver crystal clear messages, ask yourself, what is the bottom line of what I’d like to say? What is the most relevant information?

Expand and strengthen your communication skills with our interactive legal CPD course “Effective Communication Skills for Lawyers.

Core skill 2: Negotiation theory literacy

Whether negotiating a settlement or influencing stakeholders, lawyers rely heavily on their negotiation skills. Strong negotiators are well-versed in negotiation theory, managing emotion, and interest-based negotiation. If you’re looking to take your career further, there are good reasons to focus on refining your negotiation “know-how”.

Next time you enter a negotiation, skip the winner-loser mentality. Instead, approach the negotiation with the aim of creating a win-win outcome. This shift in mindset will help you focus on problem-solving, generating options, and navigating setbacks.

Boost your skills and become a more confident negotiator with our interactive legal CPD course “Making a Deal: Effective Negotiation and Influencing Skills.

Core skill 3: Client interviewing skills

Every client-lawyer relationship begins with an interview. Lawyers with good interview skills can gather critical information quickly, support clients in deciding which course of action to pursue, and instil confidence and trust. These lawyers add significant value to the client intake process and provide excellent client service by focusing on client-centred experiences.

Empathy is a powerful tool for becoming a more proficient interviewer. When you’re interviewing a client, consider questions such as “Is this the first time this client is in contact with a lawyer?”, “What is their emotional attachment to the issue?” or “What can I do to make this client feel at ease?”.

Refine your client interviewing skills and enhance your effectiveness with our interactive legal CPD course “Effective Client Interviewing

Core skill 4: Resilience

Resilience is not a new concept, but it is becoming clear that it should be a skill that more lawyers proactively choose to prioritise. Lawyers with high levels of resilience can better cope with stress, bounce back from setbacks and thrive despite adversity — and often find themselves more satisfied in their careers.

Small changes can go a long way to help build resilience. Scheduling regular breaks throughout the workday is a simple yet effective technique to help you improve energy levels and boost creativity and mental clarity. Repeated daily, this will benefit focus and productivity levels.

Build your resilience and equip yourself with the tools for a fulfilling legal career with our legal CPD course “The Thriving Professional: Using the 7 Key Ps to Thrive in the Law.

Core skill 5: Hybrid working competence

The ability to collaborate within a hybrid team is now an essential skill for lawyers. Lawyers with high hybrid competence exhibit great organisation and relationship-building skills. They also have more flexible thinking. These abilities will prove valuable when running projects remotely, leading online meetings and managing communication challenges in hybrid settings. Besides soft skills, hybrid competence also mixes several technical skills, which enable lawyers to understand the challenges related to cyber risks and cloud computing, as well as practical tools to work effectively with email.

Feeling connected with your co-workers is a critical component of successful hybrid work. On the days working remotely, be extra active on the office’s internal chat, check in with a colleague to see how they’re going, or even start a weekly game everyone can play remotely in their own time. This is a great way to beat feelings of isolation and continue building strong relationships.

Improve your hybrid working competence and work more confidently in hybrid settings with our interactive legal CPD course “Remote Work for Lawyers: Ethics and Cyber Risk