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NQ Solicitor Skills

Written by: Rosie Evans
Published on: 27 Jan 2020


Are you a trainee solicitor due to qualify this year?

If so, you might be wondering about what employers are looking for in prospective NQ Solicitor candidates. Whilst particular skills may carry more weight depending on the firm, industry and specialism you work in, we have highlighted the top key skills that recruiters will look for on the CVs of future solicitors.

Even if you’re only at the very beginning of your legal career, building on an existing skillset still takes time. Gaining legal work experience is a great way to develop your abilities, so keep reading to find out which skills will be in demand for candidates looking for NQ Solicitor jobs.

1. Commercial Awareness

Developing an understanding of business and business trends is crucial for prospective solicitors. Recognising that a law firm is a business and having an appreciation for the commercial value of keeping costs to a minimum and adhering to deadlines is key. Equally, clients expect solicitors to have an understanding of their business – how it operates, which economic and political matters might affect them etc. NQ Solicitors need to stay up to date with news and developments in business on a local, national and global scale to ensure that they are aware of issues affecting a firm and its clients. This will also enable you to appreciate both short and long-term business plans of clients and tailor your advice accordingly.

2. Communication and Relationship Building

It might seem obvious, but being a great communicator is one of a lawyer’s greatest strengths. Strong verbal communication is crucial, as you will be liaising with clients and working with colleagues. However, written communication is also an important skill for newly qualified solicitors. The ability to write concisely and convey technical language in a clear manner is a skill which comes into play in many solicitors’ duties – from writing letters and emails to drafting legal documents.

3. Collaboration

Collaborating and working well in a team is an essential for those in NQ Solicitor jobs. Cases are not won solo and there is often a great deal of teamwork involved in the process. The ability to work with third parties and other departments in the firm is a highly desirable skill, especially when it comes to commercial firms or in-house departments where working across business functions is the norm.

4. Attention to Detail

A sharp eye for detail is an extremely important skill for a newly qualified solicitor. Due to the sovereign nature of legal documents, a mistake in a contract or clause can change its meaning. Equally, grammatical errors and poor spelling in letters and emails can give a bad impression to clients, in turn affecting business.

5. Creative thinking

The ability to think creatively to find new or alternative solutions to problems is highly desirable. Demonstrating that you are a novel and adaptive problem-solver will get you far in the legal world, especially due to the competitive nature of the profession.

Gaining a solid understanding of concepts across multiple disciplines allows you to think outside the box and will set you apart from other newly qualified solicitors.

6. Research and analysis

The ability to conduct large amounts of research and then analyse this information and identify relevant points is crucial. Filtering information for importance and being able to convey this information clearly to a client is a quintessential skill for an NQ solicitor to possess.

It is likely that you will have already developed this skill in your academic studies, but the easiest way to practice is to read a long news article or a chapter of a book and summarise what you have read in five key bullet points.

7. Technology

Keeping up to date with changes in technology is key, as technological processes are constantly evolving. This means building on your existing knowledge and educating yourself in new forms of technology. Mastering technology to streamline processes and enhance efficiency will free up your time for other tasks including communicating with clients.

Additionally, as content is constantly being created in new media forms, the ability to analyse and build on this content for persuasive communication is a skill that prospective lawyers should aim towards.

8. Resilience and adaptability

Finally, resilience is probably the most important trait of a newly qualified solicitor. Law is not a career for the faint-hearted – the hours are long and there’s lots of hard graft involved, especially in the early stages of your career. Therefore, demonstrating your enthusiasm and commitment to law through work experience is key.

With determination also comes adaptability, which is a particularly important skill as we look to the future.

NQ Solicitor Jobs on TotallyLegal

If you’d like to find out more about how to become a solicitor or if you're looking for NQ Solicitor CV advice then you can find out more on our blog or get a free CV review from TopCV.

If you’re ready to apply, you can browse the latest NQ Solicitor jobs on today.