Good analytical skills are an essential asset for lawyers. They are transferable skills that can help in almost any situation, and improving these talents can make us better communicators, thinkers, creators and better lawyers in general.
They enable us to solve problems more effectively and find appropriate solutions.
The intrinsic value of analytical skills; how they can help in the workplace, and how to improve your talent in this area is explored in more depth below.
Analytical Skills for Lawyers
Analytical skills are the methods we utilise to analyse, solve problems, process information, ideas, and solutions, and can be used in any area of your life.
They are vital for lawyers who need skills like these in order to effectively persuade listeners, communicate concisely, solve business problems, or process new information at speed.
The most common analytical skills for lawyers are:
• Data analysis
How Analytical Skills Assist Lawyers
Improving your ability to think outside the box will help in most situations. Becoming a proficient problem-solver is an ideal talent for a lawyer to have, making you an invaluable asset to your clients and your firm.
Other benefits include:
• You are more marketable – when looking for employment, any training you have completed which used analytical skills should be highlighted to your prospective employer. Likewise, if you are already employed, using these skills on a daily basis will ensure you stand out from the crowd.
• Best problem solver – is usually someone with an analytical tendency. They can pick out minute details, process information, and find creative solutions to most problems.
• Critical thinking – is an intellectual discipline that is highly prized among lawyers. The logical synthesis of information can inform thought processes and produce action. Reaction is often alleviated through critical thinking.
• Interpersonal relationships – can be improved with analytical skills. The ability to consider others’ needs, process emotions, communicate effectively and understand problems all help to produce a successful lawyer.
Improve your Analytical Thinking Skills
Cultivating analytical skills can take time and effort but the rewards are worth it.
Here are a few tips to help you improve your talent:
• Learn one new thing each day – this can be something as simple as facts about a topic that interests you, or as involved as a new piece of music to play on your favoured instrument. Expanding your mind and learning new things builds new neural pathways within your brain and improves your analytical abilities.
• Play brain games – as little as 15 minutes each day can help to improve your analytical skills. Brain games can improve concentration, memory and problem solving abilities.
• Join a book club – reading is a useful tool for extending your knowledge and cognitive abilities. By joining a book club you can engage in debates, consider new perspectives and learn new forms of analysis.
• Volunteering – if there is a particular analytical skill you require it is worth considering volunteering for roles that engage with that type of skill. For instance, if you are in a law firm that accepts work from multiple engineering companies, it is worth volunteering for projects or assignments that are linked to engineering in some way as this will give you a greater knowledge of the industry in general.
• Training courses – once you’ve established that you would like to complete more analytical training it is worth deciding what area appeals to you most. Once this has been selected you can then search for courses that offer training in your chosen area. For example, if you lack knowledge of research techniques it is worth considering a course in this field as you are likely to learn something new and therefore, stretch your skills. Likewise, you could take a course in finance, management and so on, if you lack expertise in these areas.
To cultivate your analytical skills to the best of your ability you’ll need to have a proactive attitude – know what you want and then go get it!
Critical thinking skills for lawyers are a vital tool in professional progression, Continuing Legal Professional Development (CLPD), and gaining and retaining clients.
Consider your strengths and weaknesses then use your knowledge to improve your analytical skills.