Professional Skills

What is this subject about?

This subject is about developing your non-legal professional skills, which are fundamental to all areas of legal practice. These skills are also transferable to other professional environments and work situations.

Effective lawyers not only have extensive technical legal expertise but also excellent and effective skills in:

  • verbal and written communication
  • drafting
  • advocacy
  • negotiation
  • problem solving
  • work and time management

Skills development is a continual process, as even the most experienced lawyers will have areas of improvement or new skills to acquire. For example, a very valuable skill for entry level lawyers is time management, as employers often highly regard the ability to work efficiently and manage files in ways that minimise risks for both the employer and client.

What will I learn and what skills will I have the opportunity to practise?

You will have an opportunity to learn strategies and techniques that will assist you to enhance and develop your professional skills.

At the end of this subject you will be able to demonstrate the competence required of an entry level lawyer in:

  • communicating effectively
  • interviewing clients
  • writing and drafting
  • negotiating and dispute resolution
  • representing clients in court
  • problem solving
  • managing risks for clients
  • managing time and workload

The subject is structured as follows:

Elements Units
Element 1: Communicating effectively Unit 1: Communicating effectively
Element 2: Interviewing clients Unit 2: Interviewing clients
Element 3: Writing and drafting Unit 3: Writing and drafting
Element 4: Negotiation and dispute resolution Unit 4: Negotiation and dispute resolution
Element 5: Representing a client in court Unit 5: Representing a client in court
Element 6: Solving clients’ problems and managing risk Unit 6: Problem solving and risk management
Element 7: Working effectively and managing personal time Unit 7: Work management and resilience

How will I learn?

In this subject you will complete interactive workshops facilitated by experienced lawyers in which you will have the opportunity to role play interviews, negotiation and courtroom appearances. You will learn how to approach client problems, draft written communications and documents, manage risk, and work effectively in your legal workplace. You will have opportunities to apply and practise these skills in other subjects of the course.

To assist your learning, you will be given online resources such as readings, interactive tutorials, demonstrations and exercises. You will also have a hard copy of the College’s practice papers to refer to, which are also available online and in eBook format.

The course timetable sets out the milestones for you to meet, workshop attendance dates and guides you through the subject.

Whilst working online, you will have access to a lecturer with practical experience who will act as a mentor and give you individual guidance. Your lecturer will give you feedback, and coach you to achieve the required level of competence.

How will I be assessed?

To demonstrate your competence in this subject you are required to participate in tasks and complete all coursework to a satisfactory standard.

The assessment of this subject is on a satisfactory or non-satisfactory basis and is not graded.