What they don’t teach you at law school

From time recording to ‘playing the game’ — solicitor Baljinder Singh Atwal shares classes and suggestions from his time in apply thus far

With the ever-changing panorama of authorized academia — whether or not it’s via apprenticeships, the SQE, CILEX and others — it is very important be aware that authorized training usually can’t replicate the great quaint classes and suggestions you decide up from the working world. Whether or not that’s in a authorized surroundings or not, there are such a lot of abilities and talents that may be obtained from the working world, sports activities groups, societies and extra. Listed here are a number of the high issues they don’t teach you at law school.

Time recording and billing

For such a big a part of most legal professionals’ work life, the mechanics and logistics of time recording and billing are usually not actually launched in academia. The flexibility to provide good high quality authorized work is usually overshadowed by the act of recording the time after which billing it. The metrics of time recording and billing can usually be deciding components in relation to targets and promotion therefore it’s tremendous necessary to know the way it works and the best way to be environment friendly at it. Nevertheless on a extra sensible level for growth it may be a very good instrument in understanding and evaluating your progress on comparable issues and seeing how lengthy duties take you over time.

Business consciousness

Usually the thrill phrase at each scholar recruitment occasion. Business consciousness can imply many issues however on this occasion it may be damaged down into understanding how the enterprise works and the affect it might have. Individuals can usually overlook at the early years of academia that law corporations are companies and are not any completely different to the native grocery store, butchers and barbers in your native city. Every operates to make a revenue and has a product which it sells. For law corporations it’s authorized providers — time which is being bought to purchasers. Understanding how this works at completely different ranges, throughout departments, places of work, sectors and extra are key. On a extra native degree merely understanding if a shopper is worthwhile, the affect of a information story, change in laws and others are all examples of business consciousness.


Simpler stated than performed however with the ability to have a productive, optimistic dialog with folks is key. From explaining ideas to a shopper to speaking via issues with colleagues to talking to new contacts at occasions, communication is a instrument all of us have and there are a selection of strategies and kinds you will decide up on the way in which.

If you have ever been in a sports activities staff you will perceive the best way to talk with folks with completely different personalities and utilising folks’s strengths and weaknesses. The artwork of dialog is highly effective and might be the distinction between succeeding and failing in an interview, making a great impression and infrequently persuading folks.

Enjoying the sport

This phrase has been utilized in many alternative contexts and may imply various things. Usually it’s used to articulate navigating the social and cultural make up of an workplace, a division or staff. This may embody: understanding the hierarchy (if there may be one), appreciating the various kinds of communication folks desire — whether or not that’s the fashionable digital communication or conventional in-person conferences, social interplay — how lively a staff is for enterprise growth (internally or externally) and extra.

Whatever the educational route that the trendy lawyer will take, I feel we are able to all agree that nothing can substitute or replicate the core abilities and talents that you’ll decide up from hands-on work expertise and apply.

Baljinder Singh Atwal is a solicitor, co-chair of Birmingham Solicitors’ Group, and has just lately been elected to the Law Society as a council member representing the pursuits of junior legal professionals.

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