Financial knowledge is vital for lawyers in today’s commercial marketplace; it is important to our clients, our firms, and other businesses with which we interact.
If you haven’t yet considered any financial training it is worth considering the following points:
1. How Financial Training can Assist your Legal Work
Financial training gives lawyers extra credibility when dealing with clients and businesses. Every significant legal matter has a financial impact upon clients so anticipating, understanding, calculating and reporting these will help you to help your clients.
At times, you may need to interpret financial statements, such as in child support cases, or property settlements, so knowing how to present client’s incomes and expenses on a spreadsheet will save you valuable time.
Lawyers often find financial statements tied to evidence in legal proceedings, corporate accounting issues and so on. Many legal documents contain financial information and accounting terminology, and lawyers are often expected to negotiate financial agreements, calculate damages in contract cases, or draft documents which contain detailed accounting concepts.
The question isn’t “Will I need financial training?” It is “When should I take legal training?”
2. Why Financial Training is Key to Legal Success
We have already considered how the ability to think critically, clearly and accurately about financial issues will benefit your legal workload in general, but we should also consider how it can also improve your career.
An aptitude for understanding financial dealings means you can provide an improved service, structure positive and relevant information for clients, assist colleagues with any financial problems they encounter within cases, and prepare informed, educated documents and statements.
The ability to communicate knowledgeably and assuredly about legal and financial matters, with clients and colleagues, will gain the respect of your colleagues and the trust of your clients.
Augmented literacy in financial matters will help you to make informed decisions, understand the financial obligations of clients’ legal expenses, allow you to limit your reliance on accountants, and give you more opportunity for progression within your career.
3. What Financial Training can do for Legal Business
Understanding financial terminology – knowing the difference between profit and cash, how trust accounts are managed, or how accounts are audited within a small business – will help you communicate with other professionals such as accountants, bankers, and business proprietors.
Financial knowledge enables you to detect any suspicious activity, document questionable practises and assist with financial management.
Whether you work in a large commercial firm, a small local practice, or as in-house counsel, it is important that you have an appreciation of the financial aspects linked to your firm, clients, and business.
Financial training is a transferable skill that can assist you in family law, commercial litigation or crime and virtually all other legal fields.
Lawyers who understand basic accounting and financial subjects have a far greater understanding of business and commercial endeavours.
Law and finance training go hand-in-hand; they complement each other, giving you greater insight and knowledge, improving your business acumen, and ensuring your success in business matters.