Are you thinking of becoming a lawyer? Well, you’re not the only one. There are 1.3 million qualified lawyers in the US already and that number goes up every year.
The popularity of this profession is easy to understand as well. Aside from the generous salary on offer, working as a lawyer is stimulating, rewarding, and challenging. You’d never be bored and be learning something new every step of the way.
But that doesn’t make it easy!
Knowing what makes a good lawyer is essential to success. There are certain key skills for any aspiring attorney to learn and master along the way. Fail, and everything from your understanding of the law to your capabilities in the courtroom could be called into question.
Want to learn more about what it takes to be a successful lawyer? Keep reading to discover 7 core qualities of excellent attorneys.
Creativity might seem like a strange place to start. After all, we’re talking about the law, not artistic pursuits such as graphic design! However, being creative is a universal attribute that proves valuable across the board- especially for aspiring attorneys.
It’s the ability to think outside the box, use your imagination, and approach a problem in a novel way. As an attorney, creativity could help you find a novel area of law to support your case or find a weakness in your opponent’s argument. Ultimately, having a creative spark will give you an edge both in and out of the courtroom.
2. Being a Strong Communicator
Communication skills are downright essential to anybody hoping to join the bar! Think about it, you might have to stand up in a courtroom and make a persuasive point to a cynical jury. Being articulate, persuasive, clear, and comprehensible is crucial to coming out on top. As a San Diego attorney Bajaj puts it, being clear with your statements is only for your own good, particularly when the charges are as grieve as sexual assault. Of course, any mistake in communication could mean that your client will be imprisoned for life.
Speaking isn’t the only area of communication to master though. With endless legal documents to put together for your future clients too, the written word is just as influential. The ability to write in clear, concise, and professional copy will always come in handy.
3. Being a Good Listener
However, you can’t be a strong communicator without knowing how to listen! Whether they’re speaking or writing, the best lawyers have listened to their clients first, understood their problems, and settled on the best way forward.
It’s all about the art of debate.
Listening to someone’s point is the first step to being able to prove that yours is more valid. Likewise, picking holes in someone’s argument relies on your understanding it first! And to do that you have to know how to listen.
4. Being Intelligent
There’s no denying it: intelligent people tend to make better lawyers! Every element of the role calls upon the ability to analyze, interpret, research, and understand the unique components of every case. Without a reasonable level of intellect, doing well in each area can be a challenge.
The ability to analyze information is of particular value. Why?
Because there could be an endless list of things to know and learn about a client’s case. From police files to witness testimonies, you have to be able to take that information and condense it into something more manageable. Keen analytical abilities and a logical mind will be a major help in that regard.
However, intelligence isn’t everything! People who exceed in this field are the perfect combination of clever, logical, and empathic too.
This is an oft-overlooked quality of an effective lawyer. Without empathy, though, you’ll find it far harder to put yourself in the shoes of your clients, opposition, and the jury. That’s a major disadvantage when you’re trying to think ahead, orient your arguments, and put a case together.
By the same token, having that empathic skillset will prove useful at every turn. For example, you’ll be able to appreciate the struggles of your clients and use that as motivation to help them.
6. Being Good With People
This point relates to the last in that empathy always helps when it comes to getting on well with people. The ability to form relationships with ease and make a good first impression is critical to any attorney. Remember, this is a profession where you’re around others all the time (be it your client, the judge, your opposition, or the jury).
As you can imagine, then, being personable and affable can work to your advantage in a host of ways. You’ll be able to get people on your side, win their trust, and, ultimately, make them like you! It’s hard to overstate the value of that in terms of being persuasive and getting the outcome you need.
An unrelenting work ethic is another essential ingredient in the recipe for becoming a successful lawyer. This is a quality that you see in high-end attorneys such as Jay Rahimi and Kathleen Zellner. They go above and beyond in their bid to win.
Of course, being hardworking is sure to help in your bid to become a lawyer in the first place. It doesn’t matter where you train, getting admitted to the bar is no mean feat. You’re going to have to study hard in order to hone your knowledge of the field and pass your exams.
Now You Know What Makes a Good Lawyer
Few careers in life are as stimulating and rewarding as being a lawyer. However, as a challenging profession too, you often need a particular set of personal qualities to excel at it!
Have you been wondering exactly what makes a good lawyer? Well, we hope this post has clarified matters for you. Keep these qualities in mind and, if you work on them over time, you should be one step closer to turning yourself into the lawyer you want to be.
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