Do you act like Sherlock Holmes whenever you have to find that missing TV remote control or guess who took that sandwich you left at the office refrigerator? Perhaps, you have what it takes to be a legal investigator.
Legal investigators typically work with law firms, helping attorneys get their evidence and cases ready for trial. They go out to verify existing evidence and even locate and interview witnesses. Sometimes, they also reconstruct crime scenes to help lawyers get a closer look at the matters of the case. But contrary to what people often think about them, legal investigators do more than legwork.
Analyzing Vital Information
To be an effective legal investigator, you need to have the patience, inquisitiveness, and knowledge to gather and analyze research data, including legal codes, briefs, and other documents. You have to be skilled at scouring paperwork to find the information that will help your firm win a case.
If you can observe and deduce things the way Sherlock Holmes does, then you have an edge as an aspiring legal investigator. But of course, you can’t just rely on what you’ve learned from detective shows.
Understanding Legal Matters
As a lawyer’s sort of right hand, you need to have vast legal knowledge. You must be skilled at preparing, serving, and filing legal documents, including affidavits, briefs, and appeals. You also have the responsibility to conduct in-depth legal research for lawyers initiating legal action or devising defense strategies. When you understand legal matters, you can complete all these tasks faster and more effectively.
Sherlock Holmes may be a genius with a photographic memory, but he also probably studied a lot to gain extensive knowledge of various fields. So if you want to be a legal investigator, you need to hit the books, as well. Fortunately, today, you don’t have to go back to the university to get another degree. You can simply go to the internet to enroll in online courses designed for aspiring legal investigators.
Talking to People Crucial to the Case
As mentioned, legal investigators must interview witnesses and other important parties. You must have proficient communication skills to quickly build rapport and steer the conversation to get the most out of an interview within the given time. In short, you have to know how to ask the right questions.
Don’t worry if you still don’t have Sherlock Holmes’ demeanor when he talks to clients. Your communication skills will soon improve, especially if you start your career in private investigation agencies. Your experience in these agencies will help you feel confident when you start working at a law firm.
In a way, being a legal investigator is an interdisciplinary profession. You need to have proficient investigative skills and extensive legal knowledge, too. You don’t simply assist lawyers by doing much of the legwork needed for the case. You also need to use your knowledge and skills to help them win a case — just like how Sherlock Holmes solves mysteries with Inspector Greg Lestrade.