In-house lawyers need 'influencing skills'

By Des Cahill

13 May 2015 at 07:17 BST

The move from private practice to in-house demands different skills such as the ability to influence and an understanding of business.

New skills are needed when lawyers move in-house pedrosek

Research conducted by the Association of New Zealand (CLANZ), has found that transitioning from a firm to an in-house legal team is not an easy task with 62 per cent of  respondents saying that it took at least a year to get to grips with the change.  The survey of  351 senior in-house lawyers found that, by far, the most important skill necessary for the move is  “influencing skills” - with 99 percent of in-house lawyers surveyed agreeing that it was an essential skill for GCs. In descending order of importance, this was followed by strategic thinking and the ability to translate the complex into simple communications, which were endorsed by 97 percent of in-house lawyers.

Business understanding

 A broad business understanding and commerciality were also among the additional skills that were deemed very important for lawyers to succeed in the in-house environment. Eighty-eight percent of survey participants rated specific legal knowledge related to the organisation's operations as necessary to the role, while 80 percent agreed that excellent technical legal skills were a must for general counsel. 


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