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How Do You Build a Legal Team?

Conan Young in a suit

Forming a rock-solid legal team is all about the unique blend of compassion, knowledge, and composure. Lawyers are responsible for the make-or-break moments in the lives of their clients, and these three elements, combined with invaluable experience, offer the “must-haves” to a legal team that will consistently find success on behalf of their clients.

Likewise, these strengths and best practices make for a team of legal experts that clients will continue to come back to. It’s truly not enough to be a fantastic courtroom negotiator in today’s world. While legal dramas may portray some of the best lawyers in the world as moody, melodramatic, and bordering on psychopathy, a professional in the legal field that exhibits these traits is one that doesn’t see much business. A well-rounded lawyer can shed light on a range of legal matters while tending to the real-world needs of his or her clients—remembering the whole time that most of these clients are seeing the legal world for the first time and require a compassionate and guiding hand as well as a seasoned legal expert with rock-solid knowledge and fundamentals in the field.



There is no substitute for a broad knowledge base. A lawyer who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the particular case law that they’re arguing won’t be successful, no matter how slick they are in the courtroom or within deposition work. Knowledge is a prerequisite for a fantastic lawyer, and there is just no getting around this need. One way to evaluate the knowledge base of any new hire or prospective addition to the team is in the educational background and training that they bring to the table. Modules that focus on particular case law or training under an experienced professional that you know and trust are great indicators of a knowledgeable individual that can bring a lot to the team you are working hard to build.



In addition to great background knowledge, a great lawyer shows compassion toward their clients. Effective leaders in the law profession, like Malliha Wilson, know the importance of this key feature. Wilson served as the first visible minority to serve as Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Government of Ontario from 2008 to 2016. She was a Special Legal Advisor to the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO). She is now Senior Partner at her law firm, Nava Wilson LLP in Toronto, where she specializes in Indigenous and Human Rights issues, complex corporate and labour law disputes, and other, similar foci. Compassion is at the heart of Wilson’s career and legal professionals like her often cite their grounding in a cause as a central theme in their successes.



Finally, hiring great lawyers is an exercise in uncovering built-in composure. This is a running theme among some of the most successful litigators in Canada and worldwide. Likewise, composure is a key feature in those who will later serve in leadership roles in their law firms and beyond—making the jump to government service, in-house counsel roles, and many other high-powered and essential positions. To identify talent that would make an effective leader someday, it’s a great idea to start while your team is still working as learners. With an online leadership training course, you can build the skills that form this all-important trait while identifying inherent leadership skills and the emotional intelligence required to perform at a high level while managing the stress that comes with this profession.

Finding talent for your law firm can take on a more precise process with these traits in mind. Better yet, your final result will be better for it.