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Self-Assess Your Transferrable Legal Skills

published December 26, 2012

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 19 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Once you are committed to the idea of a non-traditional career you should remember the importance of beginning the job search in an organized manner. Defining transferable skills is an important first step. Transferable skills are the skills and abilities you possess that you plan to utilize in the new position you are seeking. The most important of these to consider are the ones you feel most positive about, enjoy the most, and plan to utilize again.

In most interviews, the employer will want to know your reasons for deciding not to practice law in the traditional sense. Many questions about your success in law school, your seriousness about the position you are applying for, and about how you and your candidacy will be presented to other members of the organization will need to be addressed early in the interviewing process. If you have not prepared for these questions by assessing your transferable skills and understanding the needs of the employer, you will not be perceived as a viable candidate for the position.


Consider the basic marketing principle that the product must be known and defined before it can be marketed. The same principle applies to the job search. Before you can effectively present yourself within a competitive job market, you must define the attributes you have to offer. You must also understand what skills and abilities the employer is looking for in order to determine whether your skills fit the position at hand, and whether you are interested in the position. Seeking employment, particularly in a new area, brings out insecurities in almost all of us. You must remember that you are not just looking for any available position, but one where your particular constellation of skills can be utilized to their utmost; somewhere that you will be successful. You must have a good working knowledge of your abilities in order to accurately assess yourself and the work opportunities that present themselves to you.

The self-assessment exercises in this packet can assist you in this process. These exercises provide information on the types of available work environments, skills and abilities surveys, and values and priorities assessments. Remember that work does not exist in a vacuum; you work within a particular type of organizational climate, setting, and environment. It is important to recognize the environmental factors that are important for you to be most productive in your work. It is these measures against which you will weigh the opportunities that you will be considering.

As you go through these exercises, remember not to try to put a title or label on the position you are describing. Different organizations and sectors of the workplace give a variety of titles to positions with similar responsibilities. Giving titles to your descriptions early on in your self-assessment may prematurely limit your options.

Complete these exercises in a quiet environment where you will not be interrupted. You may wish to work on them for a set amount of time and then get back to them later. Remember that there are no shortcuts to this process. If you do not take the time necessary to assess your skills and to understand the manner in which these skills can be transferred to different work environments, you will have no measure against which to assess job opportunities. Completing this process can also help you gain the confidence necessary to continue in what is for most of us a scary process.

Your skills are the blocks that you will use to build your career. When arranged in your priority order, these blocks will help to form a unique picture of your abilities. Get to know them and learn to feel comfortable with them, and they will help you as you work through this process.

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

published December 26, 2012

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 19 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.