7 Qualities to Become an Excellent Lawyer
These qualities determine what profession would be most suitable for a person as different sets of attributes are required to excel in different fields. We will discuss here some important skills needed to become an excellent lawyer.
Every individual has certain qualities which make him or her different from others. Some of these qualities are inborn while some others are acquired over time through education, training and experience. These qualities determine what profession would be most suitable for a person as different sets of attributes are required to excel in different fields. We will discuss here some important skills needed to become an excellent lawyer.
Arguments are a key part of a lawyer’s life. It is integral to their profession. During court proceedings, a lawyer is required to engage in endless arguments with the opposite party. Besides facts and evidence presented before the court, it is the argumentative skills of lawyers that often dictate the outcome of court cases. Cases drag on in courts and arguments on the same point happen over and over again. Lawyers should not get bored with repetitive arguments. Therefore, people who enjoy arguing just for the sake of it make for good lawyers. So being argumentative is a major attribute of a good lawyer.
2. Persuasive Skill
Being persuasive is another important quality of a good lawyer. Lawyers need to convince the jury about their client's position. Also, during filing of litigation, a lawyer might need to persuade the judge or the magistrate to admit the case. Argumentativeness and persuasiveness go hand in hand. So, if you want to become an excellent lawyer, you should work towards developing and/or improving your persuasive skills.
3. Good Negotiator
Many cases get settled out of court. Sometimes negotiations happen between the disputing parties through their lawyers before a case is filed in a court of law. If a settlement is reached, the case doesn’t go to court. In some cases, even when court proceedings are on and have dragged on for too long, the warring parties engage in negotiations to reach an out-of-court settlement to avoid further hardships. In either scenario, good negotiating and bargaining skills are required to achieve a favourable and satisfactory result for the client.
4. Emotional Balance
The nature of the profession is such that emotions often come into play during the course of a case proceeding. During arguments or negotiations, certain facts come to light which can be emotionally disturbing and have the potential to affect a person's rational thinking and decision-making ability. Sometimes concocted stories are deliberately brought in to play the emotional card and affect the outcome in one's favour. Lawyers, therefore, need to be emotionally neutral to avoid making any wrong moves. An emotional person generally makes judgmental errors and makes wrong decisions. Therefore, good lawyers are always emotionally balanced people.
5. Being Organized
Being organized is a necessary attribute to be successful in any profession, or for that matter, in every challenge in life. Being organized also means being disciplined. A lawyer’s job involves a lot of research and paperwork in preparing for the case. Also, regular meetings with the clients and a lot of phone calls related to the case take place. Strict scheduling and punctuality is a must for all these things. When case proceedings are underway, lawyers are required to adhere to strict timelines. A lot of documents are required to be produced as evidence and to support the arguments. If all supportive documents are not in place or not produced in time, it can adversely affect the outcome of the case. Therefore, being organized and disciplined is very important to be successful in the legal profession.
6. Persistence and Patience
Cases sometimes drag on endlessly in courts, much longer than anticipated by the lawyers. Sometimes when you think a conclusion is around the corner, new evidence or witnesses may come up which may give a new direction to the case and a fresh round of preparation and arguments starts. Such developments can potentially unnerve a lawyer who might contemplate throwing in the towel. At this juncture, persistence counts. A lawyer must be ready for such situations and come up with counter-evidence and arguments and keep on fighting 'til the end with a never say die spirit. Along with persistence, being patient is also very important. If a case drags on for longer than expected, a lawyer must not get too eager for the case to conclude, as this may lead to mistakes which can negatively affect the outcome.
A good lawyer, whether representing a plaintiff or a defendant, has to be proactive. It is important to be aggressive in a calculative manner. He/she should be the one to take charge of the proceedings rather than wait for the opponent’s lawyer to make a move and be in a defensive mode from the beginning. As a defendant’s lawyer, instead of just defending a charge, a good lawyer is always ready with a counter-charge and even has the ability to turn the case upside down. So being a little aggressive does help your cause.
To conclude, the above-mentioned attributes are critical to become an excellent lawyer. Further, to enhance one’s skills, a lawyer should become a part of some law firm network to remain updated on the latest developments in their field.