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Legal Writing And Research Communication Of Law

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Question:

Discuss about the Legal Writing and Research Communication Law.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

Allens operates in Asia-Pacific as an international commercial law firm. It was established in Sydney in the year 1822. It is one of the largest law firms with almost 1200 employees. Allens has a strong customer base and has maintained good relations with its clients over the past decades. Allens has been providing pro bono legal support to Arts Law Centre in Australia and has been supporting arts through various initiatives. It has been working with 55 companies, which have been among the top 100 companies in the world. The company aims at providing excellent service to the clients. It is concerned with understanding the needs and requirements of its clients and providing them best solutions by combining technical excellence with commercial insight. It provides advice related to various sectors such as agribusiness, financial institutions, government, industrials, infrastructure and transport, mining, oil and gas, power and utilities, real estate and technology, media and telecommunications. The firm is engaged in creating new possibilities for the employees in their way of working and their career development.

Allens considers values as an integral part of its system. The following are the values of the firm:

  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Performance
  • One firm

The company aims at attaining excellence by ensuring mutual trust and confidence among the employees. These values help in ensuring the performance of the employees in order to achieve the common objectives.

Performance criteria:

Performance criteria refers to the minimum level of standard that is required for the successful achievement of the objectives of the company as well as personal objectives. The following table shows the performance criteria:

Job knowledge

The job knowledge indicates the knowledge of the current role and the development opportunities. The job knowledge of an employee suggests whether he has improved his skills or has acquired new skills

Time management and efficiency

The efficient management of time suggests whether efforts have been made to achieve goals by minimizing wastages

Quality of work

The work is expected to be of good quality with accuracy that does not create any scrap. Client satisfaction shall be the main objective of a law firm, which will occur only when the employees provide good quality advices.

Decision-making

The employees are required to follow all the rules and regulations of the firm and are reliable such that they so not require any constant supervision.

Flexibility

Positive response to  any change is very important. Easy learning of new skills and willingness to learn work in different functional areas is equally important. Rigidness of the employees are harmful for the achievement of the goals of a firm

Teamwork

Co-operation with the other team members helps in quick achievement of the firm’s goals. Honesty, respect and good communication among the organizational members is essential to create a good working environment

Attendance

Punctuality and timeliness while reporting for work is essential   requirement and basis for evaluation of employee’s performance

Compliance

Taking initiative and compliance with all the rules and regulations

The following are the skills required to become a law associate:

Language is the most important tool of a legal professional. A legal associate must have the following skills:

  • Must be able to convey information in a logical, clear and concise manner
  • Must communicate persuasively
  • Should be able to advocate a cause or a position
  • Must know legal terminologies
  • Must be a good listener

A legal associate is responsible for drafting various legal documents. Therefore, good writing skills is very integral function of legal associates. A legal associate must:

  • Have good knowledge of style and other aspects of writing
  • Possess good knowledge of English grammar
  • Know to write clear, concise, organized and persuasive prose
  • Be able to draft legal documents such as memorandums, legal agreements, motions, briefs and resolutions

Legal industry is highly focused on the relationship with the clients. Therefore, it becomes necessary to serve the client honestly and responsibly. Legal associates must master:

  • Client development and rainmaking skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Client communication skills
 

Legal associates must have the skills of reviewing and assimilating large volume of complicated information in an effective manner. Logical and analytical skills in law include:

  • Handling complicated written documents, obtaining inferences and forming connections with legal authorities
  • Developing abilities to solve complex problems in an organized manner by thinking logically
  • Forming structure and evaluating the arguments
  • Using both inductive and deductive form of reasoning for drawing inferences in order to reach the conclusions

Legal skills involve researching statutes, regulations, case laws, judicial decisions and other law related information. Therefore, a legal associate must:

  • Have complete knowledge of the techniques of legal research
  • Have knowledge of locating and synthesizing legal authority
  • Possess the skill of statutory interpretation
  • Have the skill of legal citation
  • Have knowledge of the application of legal research software
  • Have skill of Internet research

Technology has become an integral part of the legal functions. In order to maintain the efficiency in job, the legal associates must:

  • Have the knowledge of word processing, presentation, billing and the related applications
  • Have knowledge of the various communication technologies such as e-mail, video conferencing and other related technologies
  • Have knowledge of computerized litigation, electronic discovery and document management software
  • Have knowledge of the application of legal research software
  • Have skill of Internet research
  • Have knowledge of technology for making good technological decisions
  • Legal terminologies
  • Filing deadlines
  • Local, State and Federal court systems
  • Fundamental law principles in their area of practice

Due to the pressure of bill time and workload, the legal associates must develop the following skills:

  • Multi-tasking skills
  • Ability of meeting deadlines
  • Time management skills
  • Developing a strong work culture
  • Ability to handle priorities

Due to excessive workload, legal associates must develop organizational skills such as:

  • The ability to use various software applications for managing the data related with the cases
  • The ability to manage huge volumes of files, documents, data, evidences and other case related information
  • The ability to define objectives and develop an efficient organizational structure from large volume of unrelated information

Since legal associates are dependent upon secretaries and other support staff therefore, it becomes necessary to work as a team in order to maintain efficiency. These skills involve:

  • Collaboration with others in order to reach the common goal
  • Sharing the knowledge and information
  • Maintaining relationship with clients, staff, colleagues and experts
  • Participating in meetings and conferences

The following are the duties and responsibilities of a law associate in terms of client relations:

  • Providing high quality legal services to the clients
  • Developing good relationship with the clients and gaining the confidence of the clients
  • Receiving requests from the potential clients for providing legal advice and making appropriate responses
  • Solving the client’s problem efficiently
  • Offering advice on legal procedures and related issues
  • Draw up legal documents
  • Represent the clients in courts whenever required
  • Research case history and related documents in order to ensure accuracy of the procedure
  • It is the duty of a law associate to work in a professional manner
  • Law associates are to comply with the code of conduct in carrying out their duties. The code of conduct involves treating people fairly, avoiding conflicts of interest issues, reporting any kind of unethical behavior, providing timely service to the clients and hiding confidential information.
  • The law associates are to comply with the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules
  • Keeping oneself updated about any changes in law
  • Participation in the development of the firm
  • Generating new business from the existing and prospective clients
  • Attend the internal and external training provided by the firm
  • Keeping oneself updated about any changes in law
  • Respect the clients and the colleagues
  • Take active part in team meetings
  • Understand the work and develop the career accordingly

The other key responsibilities of a law associate are as follows:

  • Fee contribution
  • Technical ability
  • Strategic awareness
  • Management and leadership responsibilities
  • Development of business and Pro Bono
 

Bibliography:

Allens.com.au. (2017). Allens - A leading international law firm, lawyers, lawyers in Australia, Asia [online] Available at: https://www.allens.com.au/ [Accessed 5 May 2017].

Field, R., Duffy, J. and Huggins, A., 2015. Teaching independent learning skills in the first year: A positive psychology strategy for promoting law student well-being. Journal of Learning Design, 8(2), pp.1-10.

Galliers, R.D. and Leidner, D.E., 2014. Strategic information management: challenges and strategies in managing information systems. Routledge.

Gibbons, J., 2014. Language and the Law. Routledge.

Langford, M., 2013. Global justice, state duties: the extraterritorial scope of economic, social, and cultural rights in international law. Cambridge University Press.

Lerman, L.G. and Schrag, P., 2013. Ethical Problems in The Practice of Law: Concise Edition for the Two Credit Courses. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Parker, C. and Evans, A., 2013. Inside lawyers' ethics. Cambridge University Press.

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