Being a good lawyer comes with a burden of responsibility. You’re responsible for interpreting the law and using it to help your clients seek justice from the courts.
There are a number of different types of law that attorneys can practice, including family law, criminal justice, and business law. Each one requires a certain type of skill set. However, there are a variety of traits that truly good lawyers share.
Here Are 7 Common Traits Behind Every Good Lawyer:
1. Passion for the Job
Being a good lawyer isn’t easy. You’ll be tasked with multiple responsibilities each day, including meeting with clients, researching the law, and designing legal strategies. In addition, you’ll need to oversee your legal team and make sure they are following the firm’s priorities.
As Alex Brown, an attorney in Maryland, said in a recent interview, having a passion for the job is essential to your success.
2. Emotional Intelligence
While you may think of lawyers as being emotionally detached and driven, having emotional intelligence is paramount to an attorney’s success.
Lawyers meet with clients daily and understanding their frustrations and why they are seeking legal justice is important to forming a legal strategy. When a good lawyer has emotional intelligence, they provide clients with a sense of perspective and personal connection.
3. Collaboration Skills
Attorneys often have to work with a number of individuals when devising a legal strategy. For example, criminal lawyers may work with medical experts, and family lawyers may need the assistance of psychologists or counselors.
Attorneys must also be able to work with their own in-house legal staff, including other lawyers, paralegals, and legal secretaries. Each person provides value to the firm and the particular case, and collaborating with each of them is highly important.
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4. Project Management
A lawyer must have the ability to organize each case in an efficient manner. When handling a case, they must ensure that each aspect is properly addressed and that team members can contribute details and information that meet specific objectives.
If the case isn’t managed properly, it can fail in court or result in budget overruns and low-quality performance.
5. Effective Communication Skills
Being an effective communicator means that you can clearly explain the details of the case to your clients and staff. You don’t leave clients wondering if you’re working on their case or not; instead, you communicate regularly with them during the legal process.
In the courtroom, you’re able to present the details of a case in a way that makes sense to everyone in the room — the judge, the jury, and your opposing team.
6. Active Listening
Along with communicating, active listening is an important part of the legal process. Being an active listener means stopping to hear what the other person is saying. You’re generally interested in their thoughts and ask them relevant questions to improve your understanding.
Oftentimes, you can find out important details about the case by letting your clients talk. They may mention items that should be further reviewed during the legal process. This can improve the success rate of your cases.
7. Willingness to Learn
Legal education doesn’t end once you’ve passed the bar exam. It should be a continuous process. You’ll learn from your staff, your clients, and your cases.
Good lawyers know that they won’t always be successful and win every case. However, when they lose one, they make sure they know why and take steps to prevent it from happening in the future.
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