Every career path has its driving force and responsibilities, such as the legal profession. The skills required for an ideal job in this area are something you have to work on and significantly improve with time. As the saying goes, keep practising; it makes you perfect!
Dozens of students move towards this profession; however, before enrolling, they must determine whether they possess the necessary qualities to become a great lawyer. Therefore, it’s important to know what those qualities are.
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Ten Qualities of a Good Lawyer
This article discusses the ten most important qualities that will help you become a great lawyer.
1. Judgement Skills
Lawyers need to make decisions regularly, both for themselves and clients. For instance, a lawyer has to determine whether or not a legal claim is worth investigating.
Conversely, an attorney may be deeply invested in settlement negotiations, and their client may seek their advice on a proposed agreement. To be clear, the client is inevitably responsible for the decision. However, it is the lawyer’s responsibility to ensure the client is aware of and comprehends all necessary details to make an informed choice. A lawyer who lacks sound judgement skills is not likely to last long in the field.
2. Communication Skills
Lawyers should be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing and be good listeners. Good public speaking skills are also required to argue persuasively in front of juries and judges in the courtroom.
Participating in activities, including mooting or general public speaking, can help you build your communication and speaking skills while studying. However, this is not the only factor. A lawyer must listen well to analyse what clients say or to follow a complicated testimony.
Lawyers also need to write clearly, convincingly, and concisely to produce a wide range of legal documents. When students lack good writing skills, they often ask the professional writing experts to do my law assignment.
Compassion is an emotional response in which one interprets another’s difficulties and legitimately wants to help fix them; this is what lawyers do!
People go to lawyers with problems and seek assistance, so the attorneys help them resolve or avoid those issues, depending on the case. If you practice tax law, business law, or any other area that isn’t primarily “emotional,” you might not consider compassion to be essential to your practice. However, it is.
The compassionate lawyer is concerned with how others feel and accepts their point of view, whether they ultimately agree with it or not. Compassion is an effective interpersonal skill! You can’t put yourself in the client’s shoes or fully understand the situation they’re dealing with if you don’t have a sense of empathy.
4. Good Listening Skills
A strong willingness and ability to listen is one of the most undervalued traits shared by nearly every successful lawyer. Although good listening skills are part of effective communication skills, it is also crucial to emphasise listening as a separate professional attribute.
A two-way street is required for effective interaction and communication. Several people don’t devote time and effort to comprehend what the opposing party says. When you truly open your mind and ears, you will most likely notice that people provide you with even more information than you previously thought.
Listening to your clients, witness accounts, defence counsel, and the court can mean the difference between victory and defeat in a case. Great lawyers gather all relevant details, analyse them, and devise a strategy for action.
5. Organisational Skills
Being organised in your life demonstrates how serious you are as a person, and this can speak volumes about your success. Becoming a great lawyer also depends on your ability to organise your time and job. Knowing this secret indicates you are one step closer to becoming a good lawyer.
This career entails meeting and interviewing clients daily, completing paperwork daily, making numerous phone calls, keeping track of court hearings, and much more. Thus, staying organised can help you significantly.
6. Be Assertive, Not Aggressive
You might have heard it numerous times, ‘That person is not aggressive enough to be a lawyer.’ You don’t have to be aggressive, but you must be assertive. Assertive lawyers express their opinions and make their voices heard by respecting others. They attack smartly and know how to convince people of their point of view.
Like those who lack compassion, overly aggressive lawyers can’t comprehend another person’s situation when it differs from their client’s situation; thus, they are ineffective at identifying the issue and unable to provide an effective solution.
Even worse, overly aggressive lawyers treat others with contempt. This causes havoc on interpersonal relationships, ultimately leading to an uncooperative environment where settlement or agreement is impossible.
7. Healthy Skepticism
Every successful lawyer encourages a steady level of scepticism. This doesn’t require you to be a pessimist or a negative person.
However, you must be aware that what you are told may not be the entire story. Many seasoned lawyers have stories about rookie decisions they had made when they first started in the field.
A common mistake that almost every experienced lawyer has made at some point is trusting someone without proper proof. In many legal cases, witnesses and clients will leave out significant facts.
When you think of a law career, creativity is the most crucial skill which can’t be overlooked; however, often, it’s not the first thing that comes to mind. Popular attorneys are highly creative individuals as this is not a scientific discipline. Effective legal practice is an art form!
Remember that each client with whom an attorney works have their own set of objectives, goals and concerns. In some cases, ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking can aid in coming up with a great solution that the client might not have realised was possible.
Successful lawyers understand how to tweak their creativity to each situation. All situations should be approached with a fresh perspective. Successful lawyers always maintain a healthy level of scepticism. If something appears to be ‘wrong’ or ‘off,’ they take time to double-check the information.
9. Great Emotional Balance
Due to the volatile nature of the career path, lawyers are subjected to a plethora of arguments, which can affect their emotions and even pose potential threats; therefore, not having a good emotional gear will be hard to bear.
To become a good lawyer, you should learn to manage your emotions regardless of the case at hand. It is commonly stated that lawyers are known to have “thick skin.” Always be prepared to handle the stress that each case brings.
A large part of this role entails convincing a jury to believe your client’s side of the story. Even if your client doesn’t prove to be innocent, your persuasion skills can help you negotiate a better plea bargain for them.
The way you show the evidence can drastically change how a case concludes. If you are a robust negotiator, you can help your client leave the courtroom in a satisfactory position.
In a Nutshell
Both practice and study require absorbing large amounts of information and then distilling this into something doable and logical. Owning these ten wonderful qualities can help you absorb what is essential and set you apart from your peers. Thus, take the time to grow and make a difference in your community and be a great lawyer by learning these skills.