A career as a lawyer is very prestigious, provides opportunities for great salaries, and more importantly, it can be a very satisfying and rewarding career. Helping those who can’t defend themselves or do not understand the intricacies of the law and legal proceedings is an incredibly important job, and this is one of the main reasons so many people decide to pursue a career in law.
If you have been considering following the same path, here are five skills you need to have and refine if you are going to become a successful lawyer.
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Your job will require you to work with many people, and you must communicate clearly and effectively with everyone to make sure nothing is missed. A big part of your job will entail making an argument for your client’s case, and this is where your communication skills, both written and verbal, will come into play. Whether it’s speaking in front of a judge and jury, or sending emails to court deposition services to request transcripts or corresponding with your clients, you need to be clear, concise, and courteous.
2. Attention to Detail
Working as a lawyer will be a high-pressure job, but you must make no mistakes in your work. This is why acute attention to detail is a great quality that you will need to have if you want to succeed in your cases and your career. Finding loopholes, conflicting statements, reading transcripts, and even referencing past cases that are relevant to the one you’re working on will all be part of your job and help you build your case.
3. Be a Good Team Player
While you will also be required to use your initiative, part of being a good lawyer is being able to work as part of a team. You will be working with other members of your firm on cases regularly, as well as support staff, clients, and other individuals who can assist you. You must support each other to make sure you get the best outcome for your client and to ease the pressure from the high volumes of work that comes with the territory.
You will be dealing with many people daily as a lawyer, and so being shy isn’t going to work in your favor. Not to mention the public speaking aspect of the job, whether that be in front of a courtroom or to press to comment on a case. While it’s natural to be nervous in those kinds of positions, you must have the ability to overcome your nerves and continue with confidence.
Finally, you have to be able to carry out thorough research to make sure you’re getting all the right facts for your case. While this is a skill that can be refined on the job, having some basic knowledge of legal resources and other research techniques from the start will be very beneficial.
Being a lawyer isn’t an easy job, but it can offer many opportunities and be very rewarding. If you’ve got the skills listed above and determination, this could be a great career choice for you.