Skills Students Need to Get a Job

Unfortunately, for now law firms have the upper hand. There are statistically more qualified students than available positions and competition for a job is fierce. Successful candidates need to clearly and succinctly demonstrate they either already have, or can quickly develop, certain core competencies. When I was reviewing student application packages and conducting interviews, I was looking for a candidate to demonstrate some of the following skills:

  • adaptability
  • ability to juggle competing demands
  • ability to manage stress
  • reliability
  • ability to work as part of a team
  • self-motivation
  • willingness to assume responsibility
  • strong work ethic
  • judgment
  • broad thinking style
  • curiosity
  • poise and presence
  • communication style
  • ability to “dumb it down” and communicate clearly and succinctly
  • ability to  manage difficult personalities

This list is not comprehensive, and firms may place different emphasis on different skills. Regardless, possessing some of these skills is pretty critical. These competencies will determine your performance. While drafting applications and preparing for interviews, think about how you are going to demonstrate your core competencies to firms. What are you bringing to the table? What skills do you already have which are transferable?

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