valuable legal updates for in-house
legal departments. Progressive firms
are starting to extend the scope of
this training, beyond legal knowledge
and skills, in an attempt to retain an
ongoing and relevant training support
role. The challenge for firms is that,
for many of the reasons raised in the
first section of this article, there is an
ever-widening “gap” in the way that
in-house and law firm lawyers work.
As a result, traditional law firms don’t
have the same need for, or relevant
experience in, applying non-traditional
skills. However, recently some firms
have started hiring external trainers to
provide training on some non-traditional skills for clients as well as their
The major challenge for legal departments, as well as the traditional
training providers, is finding someone
who not only understands these non-traditional skills, but also has relevant
experience at applying the skills as
an in-house lawyer. If you can’t find
someone with that experience, then the
next best solution is to find someone
who can at least teach you the theory.
You can, as I did, learn how to apply the
skills on the job through trial and error.
There is a lot of negative talk in the
press about job prospects in the legal
field and it may be that “traditional”
legal roles in traditional firms and
departments are in decline. However,
by taking steps to develop and apply
critical non-traditional skills, you will,
as much as possible, insure yourself
against whatever changes may come
your way in the future. By becoming
more creative, innovative, and collaborative with your business colleagues,
you will ultimately add value for your
organisation. At the same time, you
will increase your marketability and do
more varied and interesting work. This
is also how you can become a T-shaped
1 Richard Susskind – “Lawyers have 5
years to reinvent ourselves” UK Law
Society Conference as reported in Law
Gazette April 27, 2016 UK Law Society
speech. See also: Boston Consulting
Group/Bucerius Law School joint report
on “How Legal Technology will change
the business of law” — January 2016.
3 See David Guest, “The hunt is on for
the Renaissance Man of computing,”
The Independent, September 17,
1991. The concept was popularized
by Tim Brown, the CEO of Ideo, when
referring to the type of person his
famous design studio seeks to recruit.
4 “Succeeding through Service
Innovation” - www.ifm.eng.cam.
6 “Beyond the Law: KPMG’s global study
of how General Counsel and turning
Risk to Advantage” 1, 51 (2012).
10 Connor, Peter. ACC Australia
Journal March 2017.
By taking steps to develop
and apply critical non-traditional skills, you will,
as much as possible, insure
yourself against whatever
changes may come your
way in the future.
HAVE A COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE? VISIT ACC’S BLOG AT WWW.INHOUSEACCESS.COM/ACC-DOCKET.
ACC EXTRAS ON… Legal expertise
Q&A with the EIC:
How Mark Roellig
Accelerated His Career
Flow (July/Aug. 2016).
Knowledge: Five Traits
for Successful CLOs
Telling Your Legal
A Leader’s Guide
to Delegating Legal
Work: Stratifying Legal
Services and Expanding
the Role of Non-Lawyers
in Your Department
Getting Lean and
(Oct. 2016). www.acc.com/
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