"Some of the big themes from business and commerce that are most relevant to future lawyers have nothing to do with law, but they have everything to do with the successful practice of law in the new market emerging. They are common-sense principles that have been applied in most other sectors of the economy, excluding much of the public sector, for decades. The future will see legal businesses and large organisations pay a premium for pragmatic, IT literate, numerate and commercially aware advisers who can communicate succinctly, play as part of a team and problem solve…oh, and who just happen to have a legal qualification (not necessarily achieved via university!). The skills they will need include:
1. An ability to be proactive and pre-emptive:lawyers tend to be reactive, responding to client requirements. But increasingly they will need to take the initiative too, demonstrating that their input pre-empts future risks and costs.
2. IT and social media savviness:Legal businesses and in-house functions will need to invest significantly in automation if they’re to drive efficiency, improve processes and transform their relationships with their customers.
3. Management information capabilities:Lawyers will need to be able to capture, interpret and apply data and trend analysis to their clients benefit. Customers take it as read that lawyers know the law, so lawyers need to ask themselves what other value-add can they bring.
4. A customer service ethos:Lawyers really will need to pay more than lip service to building customer-focused service delivery and pricing models."
Very similar to what Forbes Magazine said here that, "The days of when students need just MS Word are long gone." Karl Chapman then spoke on the specific need for young lawyers to raw an active on social media:
"Returning to the 1980s for a moment: I really wish I’d known that many of my friends would end up as senior and managing partners in law firms. Given what we’re doing now I’d have kept in even closer contact with them than I have. Which brings me to one further really big point of advice for aspiring and young lawyers: even in a fast moving, social media-enabled world, never ever underestimate the power of relationships and personal networks. It’s amazing how often these come into play and, with hindsight, I wish I’d invested more time in maintaining my legal network."
In full here.