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With law and technology hand-in-hand, it is time to revive the legal skills

Conventional methods of the legal industry prove that lawyers were taught to be skeptical of emotions. Even studies showed that lawyers scored high in intelligence but below average in emotional intelligence. Legal experts have predicted that shortly, personal effectiveness skills like relationship management and emotional intelligence will become an essential component of lawyer competency.

Studies show that emotionally intelligent people out-perform in production and revenues than their less emotionally intelligent colleagues, and then, logically, they also get the most promotions and bonuses. They also enjoy more profits, rather than just revenues, because their health care and liability costs are much lower. Emotional intelligence generally has four components. These are,

  • emotional perception

  • emotional empathy

  • emotional understanding

  • emotional regulation

It is not that legal skills have become less important or easier to acquire. Legal professionals still have to apply the law expertly. But now, they have to do that while also building their emotional intelligence and business skills. So, what approach should legal experts take, fit in?

1. Right legal technology and tools

  • Legal tools and technology provide efficiency and relief from manual work.

  • Lawyers can turn to legal-specific technology and resources to manage their legal work and improve their process and business skills.

  • Instead of spending time trying to keep up with ever-changing legal updates, they can rely on trusted legal tech to do that for them – freeing up time and energy to focus on the other aspects of the practice of law.

2. Legal tech and the law

  • Under many situations, it has been witnessed that attorneys learn new skills by seeking guidance and advice from their senior colleagues. They may also turn to search engines to give answers, but still have to rely on attorneys to figure out which sources to trust.

  • To cope with these challenges, legal tools have been developed that provide more effective answers to questions asked by colleagues.

  • These tools are beneficial, as instead of relying on just one attorney they can tap into the knowledge of several others. It will also free them and their mentors from spending excess time on more strategic matters.

3. Support your business and operations skill sets with legal technology

  • Some firms systematize their matters with the aim that every person follows the same pattern. For instance, Seyfarth Shaw, an international Amlaw, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, has adapted Lean Six Sigma. Under this legal practice, legal professionals use hundreds of legal and operational process maps as well as automation tools and collaboration platforms that reduce manual effort.

  • To create a more effective workforce, legal tools like Matter Maps provide clear guidance. The Practical Law Matter Maps introduces an accessible overview of the phases of work and core tasks that a legal team needs to carry out as required by law and practice when undertaking a legal matter. Displayed as a visual representation of the legal matters, the maps are designed by experts on the Practical Law editorial team to allow a user to find the right Practical Law content for the task in hand by following links to selected, directly relevant content on the map.

  • Using maps and processes frees up attorneys to meet with clients and learn about the business of their law firm.

4. Legal technology supports personal effectiveness

  • Personal effectiveness is a branch of self-help movement dealing with success, goals, and related concepts. Aspects such as relationship management, emotional intelligence, and so on are developed over a lifetime. Lawyers can always look up to their mentors and learn from their experiences.

  • Over time, as they learn to more effectively communicate, they can turn to technology to support their message. For instance, visual communication is more effective, while approaching a client. Hence, lawyers can use data visualization tools to show their anecdotes. These aren't just easy for the client to understand but also benefit the lawyers.

5. Compliment your legal skills with legal tools and technology

  • The art of effective lawyering is quite hard to achieve. Therefore, there are many areas, where technology can be used to support legal services, across all development areas.


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