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What makes a successful lawyer?

conferenceThis past Saturday I presented at the Law Society’s Annual Conference. Before beginning my talk, I asked the group of 150 plus lawyers, what skills or attributes they thought would make a successful lawyer. Here’s their list (in order of importance):

  • Intellect

  • Communication skills

  • Organisation

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Drive/motivation

  • Commercial awareness

  • Client focus

  • Attention to detail

  • Adaptability

  • Confidence

  • Perseverance

  • Common sense

  • Personality

  • Team-work

  • Enthusiasm

Oddly missing from the list are three things that I spoke about during my talk and which I suggest should come at the top of the list: networking skills, business development skills, and leadership skills.

At the end of my talk, I asked the audience whether they would now change their answers (on the basis of what I said) – most of them raised their hands to say “yes”! Let's hope it's because I made an impact and they understand the importance of networking, business development, and leadership.

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