Business Analyst roles across different organizations can be quite different depending on the organization and industry sector. A good business analyst needs a wide variety of skills across multiple domains to be effective and it really is possible to be a law graduate and make a transition from legal professional to business analyst.
Firstly, what exactly is a Business Analyst, and what do they do?
Business analysts have a broad understanding of business operations and have the skills to assess the current problems faced by the business with a view to recommending improvements to management. It is a type of consultancy role which requires facilitation and analytical skills, along with a range of soft skills that are useful for engaging with stakeholders. The role requires having an eye for detail, researching information and relaying analysis results in layman’s terms so that both management and technical stakeholders can understand what the requirements are.
If you have a legal background and are looking to make a career switch to business analysis, you would need soft skills such as facilitation, negotiation and communication - which cut across multiple professions. Any area of business law could also be advantageous. It’s likely if you had considered the BA career, you would have been leaning in the direction of business law rather than criminal law in the first place, as most law students have a preference for one area and would have been thinking about this from the early days when they were considering questions like what is LNAT (legal degree entrance exam for undergraduates). The ability to explain and argue your case would be advantageous but very different from the types of persuasiveness required to be a criminal case lawyer.
So, what does a standard Business Analyst’s career path really look like?
Business Analysts typically work with stakeholders across the business and may also be required to engage with technical professionals if technology is to be exploited as part of the project the BA is on.