We recently caught up with guest blogger, Aaron Mayer, to discover the top 7 skills lawyers need during the pandemic. This is what he said:
“As the world is gripped in a global pandemic from COVID-19, we all face trials and tribulations. In various industries, employees must adapt and ensure they have a diverse set of skills so that they can thrive in this new ever-changing landscape. This is no different for lawyers.
In this unprecedented time, laws are changing frequently, as is how and where we work. As a result, lawyers must adapt, and have a key skill set to overcome the potential issues the pandemic throws at them.
If you are in a law profession, or are studying to become a lawyer, I have formulated 7 important skills that you should have during, and after this pandemic.
1. An In-Depth Knowledge of Government Pandemic Laws
Firstly, current laws and regulations have never been changing so quickly. What passed as law last week, could have completely changed today. Governments are attempting to slow the spread of COVID-19 and thus must change laws and restrict the freedoms of the civilians in their country.
This can sometimes be nationwide, but laws and rules can also vary between states, provinces, counties, and local governments. This means that lawyers must keep up to date of any changes relating to COVID laws so that they can still give effective and factually correct advice to their clients.
2. The Ability to Communicate Remotely
Next, communications have never been so important. Many of us are faced with local lockdowns in which we must stay indoors and only venture out for essential travel. In addition, many lawyers must now work from home and avoid the office to help prevent the spread of COVID.
This means that how we communicate has changed rapidly. The law industry has had to adapt and adopt new methods of communication. Client meetings are now often undertaken using Skype or Zoom video calls as opposed to face to face meetings. Lawyers must therefore be capable of communicating remotely and have a strong knowledge of online communication methods.
3. An Understanding of Company and Employee Rights in Relation to COVID-19
In addition to understanding the rapid changes in laws, lawyers must also look at how this directly affects businesses and their workforce. Employee law is currently hugely important including how employers will keep their workforce safe, and what rights employees have when at work.
Also, some governments like the UK are providing relief schemes such as the furlough scheme to those who’s companies have had to temporarily relieve them from work. This can be hugely complicated and has resulted in many legal battles and disputes between companies and their workforce. This is an area that lawyers must be knowledgeable of in order to provide effective advice.
4. An Ability to Adapt to Rapid Changing Climates
As mentioned above, the current climate changes on a daily basis. Governments work to fight the pandemic and this can result in daily changes that affect people nationwide.
To keep on top of things, lawyers must adapt to these ever-changing situations. It does not pay to stick to what you know as what you knew, may no longer be relevant in the current situation.
5. The Ability to be Flexible in Your Working Situation
A large portion of office-based employees are currently working from home. This is to protect people and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even after the pandemic has been beaten, this may continue to be the norm as businesses assess the need to pay for office space and utilities.
For lawyers, a vital skill is therefore to be flexible in where, how, and when you work. If you are accustomed to working in an office, you may have to adapt to working from home. You must therefore be disciplined and learn to create a new routine.
Working from home is completely different to working in a communal office environment. Some people may struggle without the social aspect of office work, and others may find it difficult to remain free from distractions. This is a key skill that lawyers must possess if they intend to work from home for a prolonged period.
6. The Ability to Diversify in Your Field of Law
As the pandemic grips the world, one of the most necessary skills is to diversify in your field of law. Different types of law are becoming more relevant, whilst others are not as important due to changes in circumstance.
For example, employee and workforce law is currently hugely important. If you want to remain effective and maintain an active client base, it could be beneficial to diversify and study new fields of law. This will help your self-improvement, but it will also help you stay relevant.
7. A Drive for Self Development and Continual Study
Finally, now is the perfect opportunity to study and develop new skills. Many of us have more spare time due to restrictions on what we can do. If you want to be successful, why not take up new studies and expand your legal knowledge?
To help with your studies and to quicken the process, you could also use a huge range of online courses available and studying tools that will allow you to learn at your own pace, and from home. Could there be a more perfect time to do this than during a global pandemic?
As you can see, these skills are within anyone’s reach. They are not difficult to learn – and you more than likely possess many of them already. The point is, you must diversify and adapt to these changing times. We cannot rely on tried and tested methods – instead, we must react to the changing climate and tackle the COVID-19 pandemic with fresh ideas and skills.”
Who is Aaron Mayer?
Aaron Mayer is a budding journalist who specializes in law and politics. He sometimes blogs at EduBirdie, reads books and plays video games, when not trying to learn something about everything.