In one career, words play a role in deciding one’s fate in the eyes of the law. In another, words are used to convey ideas and invoke feelings in their target audience. And yet, an overlap between Law and Communications is rarely the first thing that comes to mind when looking at career options.
Considering how both careers rely on words and their meanings, it’s quite clear there’s an overlap of skillsets between Law and Communications. Let’s take a look at how!
- The Importance of Word Choice, Language & Interpretation.
The interpretation and analysis of a legal judgement, or how a contract is worded can make all the difference to the outcome and judgement of a case.
Similarly, one wrong word or misplaced phrase can be what makes or breaks an advertisement copy or video script.
Every potential meaning/ association with a specific word counts, whether in the courtroom, or to an audience-which is why it is important to choose our words carefully to achieve the desired outcome/ ensure that the desired interpretation is conveyed.
2. Analysing and Understanding Information is Key!
Lawyers are trained to study and analyse all details handed to them in a brief. It is from here that you, as a lawyer will extract the information relevant to your case arguments and will utilise this information to present your case in the most advantageous light.
In communications, you will need to make use of the information provided to you by your client in order to understand their objectives and business goals, and to provide the content required- be it media strategy, to ad copy, to campaign concepts, which will paint them in the best light possible.
The most important thing in both areas? Analysing the information provided and using it to give your clients what they need/ want.
3. Crisis Management
Two of the most important people in a crisis management situation would be;
- A Lawyer
- A PR Consultant
Equally important, however, is that they work together to achieve a common goal- resolving an existing crisis.
A lawyer’s strength is in applying legal force to resolving a situation, whereas a PR Consultant seeks the best way forward in resolving the situation discretely.
Working together, both communication tactics and legal force can have a powerful impact in achieving conflict resolution, while advocating for the benefit of the client in a crisis situation.
- Have more confidence in yourself and your skills. With greater confidence comes greater faith in your own abilities to make the right decisions, and to get your work done. Some things you can do to achieve this include;
Reflect on your achievements thus far- both big and small. This could be something as simple as your first steps/words as a baby to more complex achievements, like scoring well in your recent test.
Set realistic goals for yourself. If your goals are within your reach, they will be easier to achieve. You won’t feel too much pressure at the thought of working towards them AND you'll be able to put in consistent effort to achieving them. I.e. as a student, something achievable would be to review two chapters a week for class, and to try limiting unhealthy eating to maybe twice a week.
Find a role model. If you know someone who is always on top of their tasks, maybe consider using them as a role model! Just be sure to remember that you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you can’t emulate them 100%. Different methods work better for different people- you might not learn from their methods precisely but you will learn where you can start!