Every lawyer has gone to law school, but not everyone who goes to law school becomes one. Many law students and degree holders don’t end up actually practicing, but can end up in a variety of fields, including running their own business. Far from being a waste of time, these years in law school can produce some great habits and bits of knowledge that will be a boon to you as a business owner. These are just a few of the benefits:
Negotiations and Disputes
No matter what your business does, there will always be a need for negotiation skills. Getting the best deals possible will be a vital need for your company and attending law school will give you a great skill set in this area. On the same token, those skills also translate well to mediation and conflict resolution, a great ability to have when managing an organization with a diverse group of employees. Getting all parties to see benefit and come to amicable conclusions is a strong hallmark of a quality leader.
Image isn’t everything, as some say, but that’s not to mean it isn’t still extremely important to your business. No matter what industry you’re in, your reputation is of supreme importance and can be the difference between struggling and success. As company leader with a law degree, you will demonstrate to clients or partners that you’re someone to take seriously, who is capable of managing difficult tasks. At the very least, the degree shows that you can achieve difficult tasks.
One of the skills learned in law school is the ability to separate problems into their discrete silos. There, they can be dealt with separately and in an orderly fashion, something that is mandated in the legal world. Adapting this approach to solving any business issues that arise will define you as a leader and is simply a good way to attack your company’s problems. This calm, rational attitude will keep things from getting out of hand and provide a good example for your employees to deal with their own workplace issues.
While you may not be able to get away with acting as primary counsel for your own business (you’ve got other things to do), your legal background will be a big help in your understanding of contracts and other legalese that you’ll encounter. Rather than seeing them as incomprehensible screeds necessitating a translator, you’ll be comfortable looking things over before your lawyer does. Spotting issues other entrepreneurs wouldn’t ought to give you a leg up.