June 22, 2022
June 2022- “New Law” and the Skills Required for Success in Modern Legal Environments
Historically, lawyers possessed a mix of analytic and legal skills, and applying those to their work was sufficient to achieve results. But today, success in modern legal organizations is all about how your legal services and lawyers add value to the business.
There’s a whole new world of opportunities in technology, data, finance, project management and more—skills that complement the practice of law and are increasingly becoming integral parts of it, so that simply being good at law is no longer enough to be successful. Law schools are recognizing the changing skills required of modern lawyers and expanding their course catalogs accordingly, with several offering clinics, courses and programs focused on legal technology and innovation.
As more schools offer training in nontraditional areas and more employers see the value in nonlegal skills, those skills soon will be nonnegotiable rather than nice to have. These trends will only accelerate as technology continues to have an exponential impact on the practice of law, as it has in other industries. Now is the time to be focusing on the skills that will make you competitive in the world of new law.
What is “new law”? Since the legal profession began, the formula for succeeding as a lawyer has been mostly the same. Essentially, you just needed to hone your analytical and communication skills, perfect your ability to research and focus on crafting the best legal strategy or argument to advance your position. But today, there is growing recognition that legal projects involve much more than just legal skills.
The modern business of law incorporates countless skills that fall outside traditional core legal competencies, and many firms and corporations aren’t prepared to meet those new demands. Additional skills will help make you more marketable and successful in today’s market, but proficiencies in technology, data and analytics, math and statistics, finance and budgeting and large-scale project management are among the most valuable. Each of these skill sets now comes into play in the practice of law on a near-daily basis.
The industry has started to take note of the shift to new law and is adjusting its training accordingly, both at the law school level and the professional level. Organizations that want to remain competitive in today’s market will need to look at the roles and makeup of their firm or corporate legal department and likely make some significant changes.
The ABA’s Student Lawyer blog recently published an article authored by QuisLex CEO Ram Vasudevan addressing the changing skill sets required to be a successful lawyer. In it he discusses what future training may look like in both law schools and on the job, expected impacts on future hiring and changing roles within organizations and impacts we may see on diversity in the legal profession. Read the full article here: The Skills Needed to Practice “New Law” - ABA for Law Students