It takes a lot to be a successful lawyer. There’s a lot that goes into the process of defending clients and forming the best case possible, putting together all the necessary paperwork for estate planning, or knowing the right clauses to put into a contract to get the client the best agreement possible. Whether you’re looking to find someone to help you in a legal situation, or you’re looking to become a lawyer yourself, here are some of the most vital qualities an attorney should possess.
A lawyer should have incredible communication skills, for both defending their client in the courtroom and for discussing the needs of the client. Communication comes in many forms. One way an attorney needs to communicate is through excellent oral delivery. They must be articulate when it comes to public speaking, so they can properly argue in a courtroom or negotiate a deal for their client. Clients may not understand the legal situations that they are facing, so an attorney must be able to explain it to them in terms they understand, and this requires great oral communication skills as well. They should also have great written communication skills, as paperwork is a large part of the job. There are many types of documents attorneys need to put together with great precision. Aside from speaking and writing, a lawyer needs to be a great listener. Their main duty is to put the needs of the client first, and to do that, they must listen carefully to their needs and wishes.
Attorneys cannot be experts on every single part of the law. They will often be experts in a particular field, but this still doesn’t mean they know everything there is to know pertaining to a case they’re working on. For an example, a medical malpractice lawyer might be an expert, but there might be some nuances to the case they’re working on and they will need to understand exactly the situation at hand with their client’s case to provide the best defense for them. This requires strong research skills and the ability to digest tons of information on the subject and process it into something useful to use in court.
Some of the best cases in history were won using creative methods. While it is important for lawyers to be analytical and understand the tedious parts of their job, like the aforementioned paperwork and documentation, it is also important that they are able to think about the problem critically and come up with a solution that might not be obvious. Especially in the courtroom, it is important to be able to think on your feet and combat the other side’s argument at the drop of a hat and come up with a solution that puts your client in the best situation possible. It’s not only lawyers who can be creative – judges have handed out some pretty creative sentences over the years as well.
Attention to Detail
While it may be tedious, attorneys have a lot of information to go through in order to produce the best results for their clients, as mentioned before. Some of this information may include very specific laws that could make or break the case. In a criminal case, the tiniest bit of information could convince a jury to vote “guilty” or “not guilty.” When it comes to contracts and legal documents, a tiny error or misspelling could change the meaning of the agreement or make it invalid all together. Because of this, the ability to pay close attention to detail is an important skill for any lawyer.
Whether in the courtroom or in the office, it is important for an attorney to exude a sense of confidence. As with communication, being a convincing speaker and delivering a case with a sense of confidence can make or break the case. Especially when convincing a jury of a client’s innocence or the defendant’s guilt, a confident speaker will be the one to win over the masses with the most ease. In any type of case, the client needs to believe that the lawyer has their best interest at heart and will work their hardest to put them in the best situation possible. An attorney who is confident will have the most success putting their client at ease and making them feel like they made the best choice in choosing them as their lawyer.