A recent survey by Bloomberg Law offers insights on law students’ preparedness for practice. Bloomberg asked over 1,000 practicing attorneys, law school students, faculty, and librarians about the skills needed for practice and how well law schools prepared individuals to enter the legal profession.

Responses indicate that new attorneys would benefit from having more skills like client communications and interactions, professional writing, business development, leadership and management, and judgment and decision-making skills.  Although respondents disagreed on where skills such as management and soft skills should be learned, the overwhelming majority of survey respondents felt that research skills and writing skills should be taught before new lawyers enter the job market. Check out the Bloomberg Law survey page for an interactive chart on this point.

When asked what they considered to be the top three characteristics of a successful attorney, most respondents rated judgment, communication (verbal and written), and self-management as the top three, although rankings differed.  Research skills were also ranked highly.