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21st Century Solicitor

How to Make a Real Impact as a Junior Commercial Lawyer

By: Steve Weiner
Media of 21st Century Solicitor
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Published: 24-10-2011
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 184
ISBN: 9781841133553
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
RRP: £21.99
Online price : £15.39
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About 21st Century Solicitor

This might be news: success as a twenty-first century solicitor is not dependent on your technical aptitude alone. Sorry.

As well as the basic requirements of understanding and applying the law superbly, you are also now expected to master a whole suite of so-called 'soft skills' -- communicating empathetically, acting commercially, writing carefully, presenting brilliantly, networking sensibly and building relationships enthusiastically.

These skills might be called 'soft' by our industry, but the reality is that they are both incredibly hard and vitally important -- especially as a junior commercial lawyer keen to make a likeable, professional, commercial and lasting positive impression on those in control of your embryonic career.

Written by a lawyer with unique experience as a commercial practitioner, trainer and law-firm voyeur, this no-nonsense 'how to' guide is an honest, punchy and modern look at all the skills you don't get taught at law school, yet are absolutely critical to achieving success from day one of your life as a twenty-first century solicitor.

Table Of Contents

· Who is this book for?
· What will it aim to do – a guide not a handbook, suggestions rather than answers
· Getting the best out of this book
· Impact is about communication
· The 'Lightbulb' moment – the core message...
Chapter 1 – Why Do People Become Lawyers?
Chapter 2 – The Hygiene Factors: Technical Acumen and Competency
· What are the basics?
· Achieving the basics
Chapter 3 - Personal Brand and Lawyers
· What is personal brand?
· What is the brand of a lawyer?
· What makes a successful modern lawyer brand?
· What makes a successful modern junior commercial lawyer brand?
· Destroying your brand as a junior lawyer
· Increasing self-awareness – feedback and input from others (neurosis versus proactivity)?
The core elements:
- Technical acumen and competency
- Billing...enough
- Communication
- Commerciality
- Likeability
- Visibility
- Networking
- Developmental awareness and training
Chapter 4 – Communication Skills for the 21st Century Solicitor
· What are communication skills?
· How do communication skills impact on personal brand?
· What do you need to do?
· What kind of communicators will you come across?
· A new take on the Merrill & Read Social Styles Model
· Top tips for the junior lawyer
Chapter 5 – Creative Writing in a Law Firm? Surely not...
· Clarity – a basic understanding of the nuts and bolts of sentence construction ,
· Coherence – a sense of the aim and purpose of your written document
· Creativity – the seasoning that lifts it from the workmanlike to the exceptional – a strong dash of imagination
Chapter 6 – Be Visible – It's a Short-Cut to Success: Presentation Skills for the 21st Century Solicitor
· Planning a legal presentation – making sure they remember you and not just your topic!
· Structuring a legal presentation
· Delivering a legal presentation
· Presentation aids – PowerPoint, Flipcharts and Handouts
Chapter 7 – Commerciality for the 21st Century Solicitor – It's Not Rocket Science
· It's all about how you communicate your 'passion' for all things commercial
· Macro-versus micro knowledge – remember, you're a lawyer not an economist
· Don't try to be too clever
· Common sense in a business context
· It's all about massaging egos...
· Top tricks to show others you care
Chapter 8 – Being the Kind of Likeable Lawyer you Look Up To...
· Doing as senior say, not what they do
· Common courtesy in a law firm
· Push back, be assertive but play a canny game
Chapter 9 – Networking for the Junior Lawyer (internal and external)
· Networking is easy – our five-step plan to networking success
Chapter 10 – Developing yourself – Learning and Development as a Likeable Lawyer
· Search for new ideas
· Show interest in developing
· Get feedback, not just at appraisal time!
· Get involved with your Training/L&D Team as early as possible – be a 'go-to' person
Conclusion – Understanding How to Push the Right Buttons
· Our action plan for success
· Don't overthink things
· Be a good person – treat others as you want to be treated and be the person who doesn't scare others


“[A] tome of exceptional clarity...Weiner's book is sensible and down-to-earth. Few would disagree with his premise – that to succeed, today's lawyer has to be more than merely technically proficient – and Weiner ably distils the ways that a junior lawyer can make a difference.” –  Alex Wade, The Times

“There is no doubt in my mind that if you want to learn how to communicate effectively, increase your personal brand and commerciality to impress your colleagues, then you should take the time to read this book…While there is no manual, 21st Century Solicitor does a lot to bridge the gap so that paralegals, trainee solicitors and newly qualifieds can rest assured that not only are they making an impression, but that it is the right one and one that will be remembered for the right reasons. It is safe to say that this book is a must read for anyone working as a paralegal, trainee solicitor or newly qualified (and quite possibly could educate a few people who are already qualified).” –  Sarah Bolt, Junior Lawyers Division executive committee member, Junior Lawyers Division Blog

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