How to Upskill Your Legal Career 


By Jamy J. Sullivan

Whether you are relatively new to the legal field or a tenured professional, gaining industry knowledge and hands-on experience that can position you for future opportunities and advancement should be a priority.

Here are some practice areas that should continue to see growth as well as tips on how to develop the skills and knowledge that employers are seeking. 

In-demand practice areas

The following specialties are expected to see rising demand in the months ahead:

  • Litigation — Legal professionals with litigation expertise are always in demand, with increased opportunities are expected in the areas of insurance defense, medical malpractice and employment law, among others.
  • Labor and employment law — These experts are focused on legal issues related to the workplace, such as family and medical leave; non-compete agreements; traditional labor, wage and hour, and health and safety matters.
  • Cyber law — Corporations and government agencies will both be staffing up with cyber specialists as legal issues around data protection and privacy become more complex.
  • Healthcare law — Legal professionals are needed to represent clients, help companies understand changing policies and government regulations and support rising caseloads in insurance, compliance as well as areas related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare law experts also are sought by large hospital systems, medical service providers, pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
  • Elder law — Many baby boomers are retiring and becoming a growing client base for lawyers with in-depth knowledge of estate planning, financial fraud and government programs such as Social Security and Medicare. 

Tips to expand your capabilities

Ask for advice — If you know attorneys working in your preferred field, ask them for advice on what you should do next. Earn CLE credits in your areas of interest and join related bar associations. 

Study online — Working remotely? Webinars are the new seminars, especially with legal organizations like the American Bar Association and Association of Legal Administrators making more courses and conferences available online for their members.

Stay focused — Concentrate on finding the best career for you. If the right path for you isn’t the most lucrative or most cutting-edge, it shouldn’t matter if it ultimately leads to a rewarding career and professional fulfillment. 

Whatever course you choose, it’s never too early or late to focus on acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to advance your career.