Human brain’s capacity to be creative and adapt to the challenges of modern society has exponentially grown. A globalised world brings with it vast amounts of data that must be rapidly and comprehensively processed and assessed. Accordingly, in order to adapt, individuals are bound to find the best instruments and methodologies to ensure objective and unbiased information processing.
Fortunately, some tools and skills allow the wielder to logically and even-handedly scrutinise data and beliefs. We will now dive into one such tool, namely critical thinking.
In this article, we will answer several questions:
– WHAT are the essential elements of critical thinking?
– HOW are its methodology and tools to be applied?
– For WHOM is this skill and tool suited? Notwithstanding a variety of empirical applications, we will focus solely on the benefits critical thinking brings for lawyers.
By and large, your general cognitive ability is undisputedly vital for your performance as a whole. However, it will be critical thinking – bestowing you with the capacity to challenge the assumptions, identify information gaps, and search for alternative explanations before drawing conclusions – that will provide you with a measurable competitive advantage in this increasingly globalised and intricate world.
Our #FutureProofLegal series begins with the foundational skill of self-awareness.
Becoming self-aware is worth your efforts, because it unlocks potential for growth, on both personal as well as professional level, and – perhaps more importantly – satisfaction. It is crucial in developing emotional intelligence. It makes us more effective and, in turn, our teams and organisations.
We believe that it is ever more important in the times of change in the legal market, as well as increased mental health pressures and struggles for lawyers.
Becoming more aware of our values, understanding of our strengths and weaknesses – and, as a result, in tune with our goals and potential – is a mandatory first step to self-management and improvement. It’s also necessary to develop empathy and effectiveness.
Hence, in this post you’ll read:
• What is self-awareness?
• How to become (more) self-aware?
• How to stay self-aware?
Join us on the journey of becoming #FutureProofLegal.
The latest technological advancements have led to speculations on the impact technology will have on the legal industry. The exponential growth in information technology demonstrates that technological changes will transform the way our profession operates and how professionals make legal expertise accessible to society. Paradoxically, it took the advent of technology for us to be reminded of how critical interpersonal skills are in the workplace. The ability to collaborate across practice areas, cultures and disciplines, the art of compromising and accepting other people’s opinions (while putting oneself under the microscope) and striving to better communicate ideas, are all skills insufficiently addressed in law school (and even in practice, for that matter) but utterly valuable in the interest of both lawyers and clients. The legal industry is already presenting a widening skills gap, and there are no signs this will be alleviated anytime soon
Our #FUTUREPROOFLEGAL: skills, roles, jobs Series will cater to all lawyers and law students out there by presenting the prospecting trends influencing legal roles & jobs, the skills required in the future work environment, and courses that will place you at the cutting edge of legal innovation.
Our series is split into two categories: Roles & Jobs and Skills, and they will be delivered to you alternatively between now and June.
The interest in perfecting the legal industry is not new, but innovation, interdisciplinarity and human-centrism are elements that have only recently started being used. Relevant stakeholders have gradually understood that purely legal skills are necessary but no longer sufficient to ensure that lawyers provide legal services in a manner consistent with clients’ expectations, social needs and their own aspirations. The focus has shifted between skill-centred models, from I-shaped to T-shaped & +-shaped. The topic of current interest is the so-called Delta Model of Lawyer Competencies but, to be fair, rapid developments within the industry and beyond seem to indicate that this is also another, although important, stepping stone in the efforts to swiftly adapt this profession. That is why, for the scope of this article, we will focus on the Delta Model which, albeit built on the previous models, is nonetheless a pioneer in incorporating and giving equal weight to three categories of skills that, I dare say, are critical for lawyers’ success in today’s globalised society: substantive legal knowledge, business & operations (encompassing tech savviness, data analytics and project management) and personal effectiveness (including characteristics like entrepreneurial mindset, emotional intelligence and character). The beauty of this model resides not only in its plasticity but also in the vast spectrum of stakeholders benefiting from it, from individuals (such as law students and lawyers) to actual entities (law schools and organisations). Notwithstanding some concerns that all this skills-model hunt distracts us from real, more acute problems in the industry, the Delta Model managed to attract much attention and was generally hailed as innovative and thought provoking.
In this article, part 2/2, we’re explaining the nitty-gritty practicalities of a T-shaped lawyer. Namely, the “Who?”, “What?” and “How?”.
We begin by presenting the skills and qualities of a T-Shaped lawyer.
Next, explain what does it take to be T-Shaped Lawyer.
Finally, we suggest a few practical steps on how to become a T-Shaped Lawyer.
Read up and be inspired.
For an intro to the concept – the question of all questions, “Why?” – check out the already posted Part 1 of this text: T-Shaped Lawyer: the new commercial awareness. Why should you become a T-Shaped Lawyer?.
The notion of a “T-shaped professional” has entered the legal field for good. In fact, there are already some upgraded versions of the “T-shaped lawyer”. Yet, before we dive into the next big thing in legal innovation – the exciting Delta Lawyer Competency Model – it’s worth taking a first step in the direction of becoming #futureproof. This means moving on from “commercial awareness” as an icing on the cake of great legal education and experience. Commercial acumen in lawyers is nowadays deemed a given. What’s become a hallmark of a good lawyer is a varied toolkit consisting of tech & data competencies, design thinking and project management, on top of their business know-how and legal expertise. In this blog post – part 1 of 2 on the T-shaped lawyer – we’re looking closely at why you should strive for elevating your skillset and knowledge to this upper level. So, we’re examining the drivers, present the benefits and look at some “but’s” we commonly hear. In case you‘re wondering: it isn’t a matter only for the young and inexperienced. It is a necessity for all lawyers who want to stay relevant and client-responsive. It’s about implementing a more well-rounded learning for life approach of upskilling. That’s another “innovation” – or a well-established business practice trickling into law, at long last.
So, what does it take to be a T-shaped lawyer? How to become one? And, most importantly – why is it worth your efforts? Read up! And don’t forget to come back for Part 2.