Yury Sbitnev, partner at Exiora, took part in the round table “Soft and Hard Skills in a lawyer’s professional activity”

On April 28, a round table was held remotely at the Teams site on the topic: “Soft and Hard Skills in the professional activities of a lawyer”. It was attended by successful professionals who were invited to share their skills and valuable experience with young lawyers, students who do not have sufficient motivation and ideas about their future careers.

One of the invited speakers was Yuri Sbitnev, lawyer and partner of Exiora Law Firm. He spoke about the start of a career as a practicing lawyer – about trends in the labor market, about the knowledge and skills required for successful advancement, about future places of work and the necessary initial experience.

What’s in trend

Now the most promising specialization is civil law. If in the past the most demanded were specialists in criminal law, at the moment the trend has changed. This is due to a change in the format of relations between business entities.

Before deciding on a specialization, a lawyer must answer the question: where will he practice? It can be criminal law, civil service. In the event that a student knows for sure that he will not go to any of these specializations, then civil law is worth choosing.

Judiciary or not?

It is also important for a novice specialist to determine: is he a forensic lawyer or not? You will have to answer this question after graduation – in practice. If public speaking is difficult, if it is difficult to navigate the process and adapt to new circumstances, it may be worth going into a field that is not connected with the courts.

Ideal Applicant

The most frequent requirements for applicants are knowledge of the law, attentiveness, diligence. But no less important role for applicants is played by “burning eyes” – the desire to solve non-standard tasks, look for new questions in practice, and offer fresh ideas.

It is comparable to chess. When the principal comes to the lawyer, most often, the game has already been played – some pieces are lost, the king is already in check, the queen is also lost. It turns out that you have to play only those pieces that are on hand, and this requires ingenuity, interest and those very “burning eyes”.

Where to go to work

It’s good to get initial experience in an in-house – the absence of force majeure and work with a routine will allow you to gain basic knowledge and skills. As far as consulting is concerned, a large international law firm can earn serious income, but growth there is slow, although steady. In Russian firms, the compensation package is not so large, but growth is more active.

In both cases, creativity, deep knowledge of the law, the ability to select tools and apply them in practice will be required. After all, you will have to solve complex problems with which full-time lawyers have not coped.

The most useful solution for a novice lawyer will be practice in different places: in a law firm, in an enterprise, and in government agencies. This will help you make the right choice in the future.