What it takes to be a good commercial lawyer
Solicitors can focus on a particular area in law for practice. One of these areas is commercial law. However, what is a commercial lawyer? What does a commercial lawyer do?
Commercial lawyers are solicitors who advise businesses and governments on business-related issues. They can either be transactional lawyers or contentious lawyers.
Transactional lawyers draw up and review the legal documents that bolster what their client’s cases, whereas a contentious lawyer helps their clients to resolve disputes with other parties.
Being an expert or a specialist in a particular area of law is a must to commercial lawyers. You can be an expert in finance law and advise your clients on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and others.
Knowing full well the high demand on competency and efficiency to the solicitors practicing commercial law, here is the list of some of the qualities that most companies are looking for their commercial lawyers. These set of qualities will also help you become an excellent commercial lawyer.
Excellent Communication Skills
Commercial lawyers should enjoy working with words. They need to write legal documents that are long and complex. Keeping focus in writing these papers requires focus to ensure that no mistakes are made.
Most companies are looking for responsive people who are technically excellent and first class communicators. They need to be orally articulate with good written communication skills and at the same time great listeners, too. They need to converse well and advise their clients, and they can only do that if they listen carefully to what their clients need.
Attention to detail
Writing long, complex, and persuasive legal documents must be done without errors. Hence, a good commercial lawyer also focuses on every little detail because they know that a minor slip can jeopardize their case.
Commercial lawyers must also exhibit commercial awareness. Commercial law is applying legal knowledge to the real-life business world. Commercial lawyers must understand why certain businesses act the way they do and the nuance of their businesses.
As a commercial lawyer, you must be on top of the current issues that affect businesses around the world. You should also be knowledgeable enough to form your opinions on certain topics that interest you.
Outside of legal services, industry knowledge is essential to commercial lawyers so that they can anticipate and provide proactive client service.
Studying law and practicing it requires you to take a huge chunk of information, which you need to distil into a more manageable and logical data. There may be times when you would feel that there are many conclusions that can be derived from the piece of information you just digested. However, your highly tuned evaluative skills will help you come up with the most logical conclusion.
As you prepare legal strategies, you need to absorb huge chunks of information, which you need to distil to make them useful and more manageable. Hence, you must have excellent research skills so you can gather required information for your case at a quick rate.
You need to have the technical skills to enable you to do your research quickly and accurately.
Commercial lawyers must be good in forming business relationships. Though they need to have impressive academic records, at the end of the day, lawyers work with people. People skills are essential so that they can work well with the diverse clients they have.
Moreover, these lawyers often work with a team. Hence, being able to work harmoniously with others is a must so that the success of the case is achievable.
They need to be nice, but not to the point of being a doormat. Commercial lawyers must be able to present their side and defend it if needed without offending the members of their team or your clients. Additionally, it is necessary for them to understand the commercial reasons for their client’s needs. This understanding would help them come up with the best legal strategies catering to what their clients require.
Morally upright with high respect to the rule of law
As you are completing your studies in your law degree, you will surely be taught about having high ethical standards and the role of law. When you are already a solicitor, you must always remember that your name and your reputation is so important to keep yourself on top of the game.
To be good commercial lawyers, they must have a genuine commitment to deliver top brand client service. They must strive to be collaborative and at the same time solution driven. They need to see the importance of client care and building deep and lasting relationships with their clients.
Motivated and Persevering
Solicitor job is hard work. Writing drafts, interviewing and advising clients, preparing legal documents, and planning legal strategies would take most of your time to drive your case to its successful ending. You might even be required working long hours than the regular 9-5 jobs.
Hence to succeed in this field, you must persevere through all the hard times. There is no substitute for hard work and dedication. Succeeding in this area requires solicitors sustain a high level of achievement. They must always be driven to put forth their best foot forward.
They must have the initiative to learn about the firm they are part of and the same time they must feel entirely responsible for studying the companies of their clients so that they can give them the appropriate service.
Creative Problem Solvers
Being a good lawyer does not only require superb logical and analytical skills, but he also needs to be creative especially in problem-solving. He must be able to devise an innovative plan to tackle the problem facing him so that he can finish his task successfully.
To sum all these, good commercial lawyers should be well-rounded to be able to give the best possible client care and guidance. They need to be knowledgeable about the current events affecting and influencing the business area.
Since they need to write long, complicated legal documents and interview and advise clients, commercial lawyers must be good communicators. They need to be motivated and driven to successfully finish their cases and maintain a lasting professional relationship with their clients. Lastly, they must not only be high achievers in school, but they must also have good interpersonal skills that will help them work collaboratively with their clients and colleagues.