How A Background In Law Makes For A Competitive Entrepreneurial Edge

September 8th, 2014 | by Erika R
How A Background In Law Makes For A Competitive Entrepreneurial Edge

You survived law school. You landed a job with a great firm. You’ve been successfully practicing law for the past 10 years. And now it’s time to give in to the entrepreneurial itch you’ve been fighting since your college days.

Lucky for you, the skills you’ve picked up while studying law will help you take on the business world and come out on top. Here are some skills your background in law gives you to help with your entrepreneurial venture.

Law School

If you survived law school, you probably feel like you can survive anything. Not only does your degree prove that you have the determination to follow through and work towards your goals, but it shows that you can handle competition.

The dreaded curve turns every colleague in law school into a potential threat. The trick is to balance maintaining civil relations with your peers and learning everything you can from them, while still maintaining your spot at the top of the competition. The same happens in business—you don’t want to be on bad terms with your competitors. You want to maintain friendly relations and learn from them without letting them put you out of business.

Law school also develops critical thinking, which fosters problem-solving skills and innovation. These skills help you look at situations and find non-obvious solutions. This is so important when you begin the startup process and face unexpected road blocks and that threaten to defeat your business goals.

Try to remember what kept you motivated and determined back in your graduate school days, and channel that same mindset as you attempt this new challenge of entrepreneurship.

Firm Experience

Lawyers who have started their own firms are considered entrepreneurs already. Running a firm is like running a small business—you have to manage the advertising, the employees, the payroll, the finances, and so on.

People Skills

If you were hired as just an employee in a large firm, you may not be as involved in the entire process. However, you likely dealt with your own clients—an experience that helps develop customer-service skills. The various kinds of clients you work with prepare you for the customers and partners you will work with as you start your own company.

Negotiations, Contracts and Agreements

If you plan on having investors or partners, signing contracts, or dealing with other intricate legal-related matters, your background in law couldn’t have prepared you more. Especially if you work for a firm like Kitchen Simeson Belliveau LLP, lawyers in Oshawa that handle all aspects of law from business to personal to family. With experience in multiple fields, legalese will not trip you up when you read over contracts or laws that apply to your entrepreneurial pursuits.

Whether you are running your own firm, or are one lawyer employed by a large organization, start paying attention to the business side of the establishment. The more you prepare yourself for going your own way, the better chance of success you will have.

Skills of the Trade

Here are several different skills typically shared between successful entrepreneurs and skilled lawyers:

  • optimistic about results.
  • able to take risks.
  • innovative.
  • self-motivated.
  • adaptive to change.
  • determined to succeed.
  • good at networking.
  • effective at problem-solving.
  • strong communication skills.
  • experience in negotiating.

Take a personal inventory of your own skill set. Which of these are you good at, and which can you improve on? Set goals for improvement and find ways your own law practice can help you develop them.

Whether you are toying with the idea of quitting your job or you’ve declared your two-weeks’ notice with the finality of a judge’s sentence, you can rest assured that your background in law gives you a competitive edge in the world of entrepreneurial pursuits.