People skills impress more than pedigree

COMMUNICATION skills rank higher in importance for employers than the university a law graduate attends, Sunshine Coast Law Association president Michael Beirne believes.

Mr Beirne says employers are looking for well-presented, enthusiastic graduates who are able to communicate effectively with colleagues and clients.

“That means they can listen and take instructions, they record what they do clearly, they have to have excellent grammar, perfect spelling and know how to string some words together,” Mr Beirne said.

“Being able to write a letter in plain English, touching on very complex issues of law and fact, is very important.”

University of the Sunshine Coast Law Students’ Association president Dave Knobel agrees that subjects such as law clinic allow students to improve their communication skills.

“Law clinic allows you to interview real clients, run case files, correspond with other lawyers and professionals and think critically about situations,” Mr Knobel said.

“I will always value that experience that I got in first semester.

“It was my first experience working with real cases and real clients.”

Mr Knobel said he transferred from the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology because it was closer to home and provides a more practical learning experience with greater student-staff interaction.

“What I found at UQ was that they have a fantastic reputation and they produce excellent lawyers,” he said.

“But you’re just a number and you’re one of many hundreds of students that come in every year,” Mr Knobel said.

This story originally appeared in the Sunshine Coast Daily:



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