As a final year trainee, this blog highlights the key skills you need to be a successful junior fee earner:

  1. Be logical and able to process information quickly

Lawyers are often required to read large quantities of information in a short period of time before digesting the content and coming to a logical conclusion.  It is important that the assumptions and judgments we make are reasonable in the circumstances.

Often there are tight deadlines to work to, so it is vital you can comprehend large volumes of information quickly. That said, it is also important not to jump to conclusions before fully understanding the facts!

  1. Have excellent communication skills

As a solicitor, you will be required to use your communication skills to explain the law to clients, negotiate documents and win arguments about points of law.  As well as being verbally articulate, you need to be able to write clearly, concisely and persuasively.

It is important that solicitors listen and analyse what clients tell them and ensure that they fully understand the problem or potential opportunity the client is facing.

  1. Be approachable

All other things being equal, clients instruct solicitors who they like and get on well with.  If you are able to build rapport with contacts and clients easily then this will stand you in good stead throughout your career.  A great solicitor will be able to read others and adopt their style of communication or negotiation accordingly.

  1. Be creative

You don’t have to be a brilliant artist or musician to be creative.  Solicitors can be creative in the way they approach problem solving, and the best solicitors are able to think of unique solutions when new (or old) problems arise.

  1. Be diligent and hard working

Studying to be a solicitor and securing a training contract takes a reasonable amount of hard work and perseverance.  It is helpful to get used to this early on.  Whilst there is always a varied workload, there are days when you will need to work hard for long periods of time in order to meet your client’s expectations.

Not only that, but you will also need to maintain a high quality of work and attention to detail throughout.  A good solicitor will take a great deal of pride in what they do and in delivering the best outcome for their clients.

This post was edited by Alison O’Kelly. For more information, email

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This blog is intended only as a synopsis of certain recent developments. If any matter referred to in this blog is sought to be relied upon, further advice should be obtained.