LegalJob came across a fantastic blog with a post containing advice about six traits legal employers are looking for based on a survey of law firms, companies, government offices and other places. Check out the complete post here.
The short summary list with LegalJob’s editorial comments is provided here:
Note that this is a two way street. As discussed in Making Partner, when choosing a legal job, the likeability of the people you work should be at or near the top of the list. If you have great work but have to deal with miserable people your will probably hate your job. On the other hand, if your work is not very stimulating but you enjoy your colleagues, things could be worse.
Similar to item, one this is a two way street. Again as discussed in Making Partner, you want to join an organization with which you share similar values and can identify with the culture. As a simple example, is this firm the type of place where folks keep there door open or closed? And what do you do?
As discussed in the post, this trait refers to more than book smarts. Employers are looking for social/emotional intelligence (i.e., people skills). In other words, can you get along with different personalities such that you are effective as a worker (in the beginning) and as a leader/manager as you progress? Think about ways you can demonstrate this skill in an interview. Perhaps you can describe situations where you were responsible for managing people with different perspectives or working for people with strong preferences and explain how and why you were successful.
4. Being a Quick Study
Again think of how to “sell” this trait in an interview. Think of a situation where you came up with a strong solution on the spot.
5. Writing Ability
As discussed in Making Partner, every word carries freight (so be concise where possible) and make sure you have no typos.
6. Persuasive Ability
One way to demonstrate this trait is to show how you overcame arguments in a prior work environment. Be careful not to dismiss opposing views even if you think they have no merit. So, communicate to the employer that you listen to the opposition, give their points consideration, and respond with principled, thoughtful responses.