Transferable Lawyering Skills

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This article is a form of exercise that focuses on two kinds of skills: transferable and legal skills. It will provide you with a sense of the degree to which you feel competent in your skills and the degree to which you enjoy utilizing various skills.
INSTRUCTIONS: For each skill listed, rate yourself on the following scale.

Transferable Lawyering Skills
r /> 4 = Very Confident in your ability 3 = Competent in your ability 2 = Cautious about your ability 1 = Can't Assess
To adjust for the enjoyment level, add the value of 1 if a high level of satisfaction or pleasure is associated with the performance of the listed skill; subtract the value of 1 if you dislike using the skill. If you neither like nor dislike the skill, no adjustment is necessary. Record your totals for the various skill cluster areas.

PART 1: Transferable Skills

Written Communication
  • Correspondence (answering inquires, initiating letters, soliciting business)
  • Editing
  • Creative/Expository Writing
  • Writing (reports, memos, proposals)
  • Technical Writing
  • Translating (foreign language, signing)
Part 1 of this exercise is adapted from material designed by Laura Share Kalin, Director of Career Services and Alice Alexander, Assistant Dean of Cooperative Legal Education at Northeastern University School of Law; Part 2 is adapted from materials designed by Professor Brook K. Baker, Northeastern University School of Law.

Verbal Communication
  • Teaching/Training
  • Public Speaking
  • Persuading/Promoting/Selling
  • Explaining
  • Articulating (quality of oral expression)
  • Connecting (being understood)
  • Social Chatting
  • Listening
  • Advising/Counseling
  • Interviewing (obtaining information)
  • Handling Complaints
  • Confronting
  • Negotiating
  • Mediating
  • Group Facilitating
  • Getting Along With Others
  • Politicking
  • Reading" others
  • Anticipating/Estimating
  • Prioritizing
  • Coordinating/Arranging (events)
  • Compiling/Gathering (data)
  • Classifying/Ordering (information)
  • Programming
  • Planning/Scheduling
  • Record Keeping
  • Meeting Deadlines
  • Conceptualizing (new ideas)
  • Analyzing (events, data, people)
  • Theorizing (drawing generalizations)
  • Comprehending highly technical materials
  • Predicting/Forecasting (trends)
  • Experimenting
  • Remembering Information
  • Supervising/Leading
  • Organizing/Coordinating
  • Motivating Others
  • Initiating
  • Risk Taking
  • Delegating
  • Exercising Good Judgment
  • Accepting Responsibility
  • Deciding
  • Examining
  • Reviewing
  • Assessing (the performance of others)
  • Evaluating (programs, services)
  • Appraising (values)
  • Applying Knowledge to Improve a Situation or Benefit Others
  • Trouble Shooting
  • Resolving Conflicts
  • Working Effectively and Calmly Under Pressure
  • Managing Time
  • Tolerating Delays/Waiting
  • Reserving
  • Accepting Criticism
  • Working Through Problems
  • Adjusting to Changes/Flexibility
  • Competing With Others
  • Accounting/Bookkeeping
  • Allocating Resources
  • Managing Budgets
  • Using Computational Abilities
  • Estimating/Projecting (costs, income)
  • Developing Mathematical/Economic Models
  • Working With Precision
  • Financial Record Keeping
  • Inventorying
  • Using Statistical Abilities
  • Exhibiting/Setting up
  • Displaying Ideas in Artistic Form
  • Dramatizing (ideas, social concerns)
  • Designing Exhibits
  • Making Layouts (media print, public displays)
  • Representing ("x" to the public)
  • Meeting the Public
  • Inventing
  • Imagining
  • Designing
  • Applying Theory
  • Being an "Idea" person
  • Displaying
  • Constructing/Building
  • Assembling
  • Fixing
  • Music (singing, composing, playing instrument)
  • Dancing
  • Drawing/Painting/Sculpting
  • Competing at sports/games
  • Acting
  • Using Humor
  • Other "play":
PART 2 - Lawyering Skills

Legal Knowledge
  • Possess substantive knowledge of basic areas of law
  • Possess substantive knowledge of your particular area of expertise
  • Keep abreast of current developments in the law
  • Possess broad general knowledge of other areas of law in order to "red flag" issues and refer cases to others possessing expertise.
Legal Research
  • Perform research (case law and statutory) in a thorough, organized and competent manner
  • Know various secondary and primary research resources
  • Know how to use indexes
  • Know how to plan a research strategy
  • Familiar with computerized research resources
  • Know how to take systematic, useful research notes
Factual Research
  • Know how to plan fact investigations to obtain desired information
  • Know formal discovery devices and how to use them, including depositions, interrogatories and document requests
  • Know how to respond to formal discovery within ethical restraints to disclose required information
Legal Writing
  • Plan and organize writing by outline or otherwise so that it is coherent, logical and persuasive
  • Draft, redraft, and edit your writing critically
  • Produce well written, good quality legal documents
  • Use language clearly, precisely, and concisely
Legal Analysis
  • Understand how to analyze a case and analogize it to client facts Understand how to analyze a statute or regulation and apply it to a client problem
  • Understand how to synthesize multiple cases and/or statutes Understand how to select legal rules to apply to or distinguish from client or opponent facts
  • Combine legal analysis with common sense and problem-solving abilities
  • Develop creative and/or alternative approaches to problems Develop appropriate strategy to serve client
  • Plan an effective trial strategy
  • Argue skillfully and effectively in court
  • Negotiate disputes skillfully and effectively
  • Prepare witnesses for examination
  • Examine witnesses using rules of evidence effectively
  • Develop ability to determine the credibility of witnesses, clients and testimony
  • Develop ability to determine the efficacy of opposing arguments
  • Practice appropriate courtroom demeanor and courtesy
Problem Solving
  • Negotiate transactional agreements
  • Help clients with strategic planning
  • Advise clients regarding compliance with applicable laws and regulations
Client Relations
  • Conduct sessions that leave the client informed and reassured
  • Understand client's goals
  • Provide realistic assessments
  • Nurture and develop new client base
  • Keep client apprised of progress/status of case
  • Prepare bills reflecting accurately accounted time
Substantive Legal Knowledge
  • Constitutional Law/Litigation
  • Federal courts
  • Commercial Law (U.C.C.)
  • Corporations
  • Corporate Finance
  • Entertainment Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Antitrust
  • Bankruptcy
  • Legal Accounting
  • Securities Regulations
  • Evidence
  • Criminal Advocacy/Procedure
  • Juvenile Law
  • Equitable Remedies
  • Land Use Planning
  • Administrative Law
  • Family Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Welfare Law
  • Health Law
  • International Law
  • Comparative Law
  • Conflict of Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Labor Law
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Negotiation
  • Torts II
  • Intellectual Property
  • Immigration Law
  • Discrimination Law
  • Tax Law
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Legislation

Northeastern University School of Law


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