Articles From the Team
The importance of transferable skills
Due to circumstances outside of your control, you may end up not being able to undertake a training seat in your preferred discipline. Sometimes you end up having to take a role on qualification that was your “backup” choice or you get to a certain level of PQE and just feel the time is right for a change!
When our clients instruct us to fill certain roles, ideally they are looking for someone who has training and/or experience in that particular area, although this is not always the case. In these times, your transferable skills really come into play.
Now, to manage your expectations, this is usually something that occurs more at NQ or the junior end of your career. Ultimately, if I have a client looking for a Senior Property Litigation Solicitor, it’s probable that there is lots of work but no support at hand. However, if I have a similar role but at NQ level, there are likely Partners or senior team members who can support the NQ and mould them into the lawyer they need to be.
For example, if you have good drafting experience, you could consider non-contentious roles based around contracts like corporate or property. Furthermore, if you are well versed in the CPR, then you could change the subject matter such as property, insurance or commercial.
In addition to practical skills, here are some other transferable skills which you should try and display at interviews (preferably, at all interviews!).
Previously, a client told me that they offer the role based on the enthusiasm and willingness to learn, rather than skill alone. You can show this at the interview by asking loads of questions!
This is about being someone who tries to find the answer for themselves, rather than relying on other people. Your employer needs to see that you are motivated to go out and give it a go yourself!
Effective communication is important. In most practices, you need to be able to communicate across departments to deal with various transactions. Therefore, you need to be capable of explaining yourself to different people.
During most interviews you will be asked about how you work with the rest of your team. Any employer will want to know that you are happy to play a part of something larger and that you can work together to deliver results.
You should show that you are willing to be flexible and adapt yourself to adverse or changing circumstances to get the job done. Being flexible can mean that you sacrifice your own time to help others, you offer to stay late, or to change your plans to succeed.
This one is really important! To become a better lawyer, you need to recognise your limitations and weaknesses. Be realistic; don’t pretend to be perfect, or the finished article! You need to be able to criticise what you have done previously and learn to develop yourself.
If you are looking to change disciplines and are keen to discuss what your options could be, then please contact Emma Delli-Bovi at BCL Legal.