A legal consultant is a professional who provides legal guidance to businesses and individuals. This job title is interchangeable with the title of a legal advisor. While those in this role have many of the same responsibilities as lawyers, they solely provide legal advice outside of the courtroom. Common fields they work in include business law, real estate, foreign affairs and financial law. Clients hire legal consultants to ensure that they are making legal decisions and developing business practices that follow the law.
If you want to become a legal consultant, focus on developing these important skills:
- Critical-thinking: Much of this role requires problem-solving, which is why it's important to have critical-thinking skills. You need to be able to assess a situation and come up with the very best legal advice.
- Customer service: It's your job to make sure your clients are happy with the services you provide to them. Treating them with kindness and honesty can help you ensure they will continue to use your legal services.
- Legal expertise: The main reason clients hire you is that they trust your knowledge of the law. When giving legal advice, you need to be absolutely certain that you are sharing the best practices with your clients.
- Listening: In order to serve your clients to the best of your ability, you need to have strong listening skills. Focus on what they are saying so that you can ask thoughtful follow-up questions and truly understand their needs.
- Research: Some of your clients' questions may require you to conduct a bit of legal research. You need to know how to find reputable sources that can help guide your decisions.
- Technology: Having strong computer skills can help you be successful in your role. Familiarize yourself with digital technology, such as word processors, presentation software, billing platforms, time-management applications and other resources that make your job more efficient.
- Verbal communication: When working in this role, much of your job involves meeting with clients to share your legal advice. Your verbal communication skills can help you convey your thoughts clearly and ensure your clients are understanding what you say.
- Written communication: Writing legal documents is another major component of your role. You need to be a skilled writer, using the correct spelling, legal terminology, grammar and formatting.