In order to become a lawyer, you have to go through extensive schooling and pass multiple standardized tests. Aside from the education aspect of it, you’re going to need to possess certain characteristics or skills if you want to excel in your field. Just like in most other industries, specific personality types are better at certain jobs than others. This stands the same for lawyers. While it largely depends on what type of lawyer you are, everyone with the dream of becoming an attorney should be good at these 5 things.
- Possess good people skills
People skills are important for lawyers because the bulk of their job has to do with dealing with other people. Not only do they need to encourage their clients to trust them, but they’ll also have to then either persuade a jury, judge, or another party as well. If you’re shy or on the other hand way too straight forward, people might be turned off by the way you present yourself. It’s important to have a way with words and talk confidently. Even if you have the best argument in the world, the way you act or your reputation might sway the party one way or the other. It’s important to maintain a positive appearance for your clients and the others you’re going to be working with on cases. It’s not a good idea to have judges and other professionals in the industry with the means to help you, end up not liking you.
- You’re always striving to do better
There’s never going to be a case that you can’t learn something from. Even if it’s not your case, you should want to stay up to date with what’s happening in the news, follow major cases, and even work on your problem solving and critical thinking skills in your off time. A lawyer who’s always trying to do better for his or her clients is a lawyer that most people would feel comfortable having. Getting nominated to join groups like Lawyers of Distinction is another way to better your appearance and career. Striving to be named to the Lawyer’s of Distinction is something that will definitely boost your client base and overall career success.
- You need to like research
While it’s not the most exciting part of being a lawyer, in order to prepare for cases, you’re going to have to read up on laws, old court cases, and precedents. Performing research can take days or even weeks depending on the size of the case. It can be tedious, and there are definitely going to be days that are less productive than others. You have to enjoy this search in order to love being a lawyer, because you’re going to be spending a large amount of time doing it.
- You need good speaking skills
Another thing that all lawyers need are good speaking skills. Even if it’s not your strongest suite, you should be able to at least get in front of a jury and talk confidently without saying words like “uhm” “uh” or “like”, while also avoiding stuttering. Everyone gets nervous, but lawyers can’t show it as much. If this is something you want to do, it’s important to practice your public speaking skills as well as thinking quickly on your feet. A huge part of your argument is how you present it, so the presentation better be smooth and flawless.
- Problem solving and analytical skills
Again, it depends on the specialty of the lawyer, but for the most part, people need lawyers because they’re stuck in a sticky situation. To be a good lawyer, you need to put your problem solving skills to work by analyzing all the facts in order to find a solution that will either make your client happy or both parties happy. This is easier said than done.