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What Skills Are Necessary to Be a Lawyer
Being a lawyer is no easy feat. Like any other profession, a lawyer needs a host of skills to be able to survive and succeed. Law is a challenging profession, and so lawyers need a wide range of skills, aptitude, and knowledge to excel in this field. A strong personality with excellent public speaking capabilities and convincing powers of speech are some of the must-have skills required to be a lawyer.
Along with the necessary qualification, such as a degree in law from a recognized university, aspiring lawyers must have the following personal skills to flourish.
Critical thinking and analytical skills are essential skills a lawyer must possess to succeed in his or her career. These qualities define the aptitude of a lawyer and become ever more important with experience.
Attention To Detail
Lawyers must possess the skill of paying attention to detail in order to compile a fool-proof case. You should learn to question your client on every aspect of the case and show interest in the slightest details to be able to analyze the situation and draw understanding from it. Slightly overlooking a minor detail may leave a hole in your case that could be exploited by the opposing side. A lawyer must not overlook minute details, even if they may seem irrelevant at the time. Review your work with a fine-tooth comb to assess whether you have left any gaps in your case as these minor details will help you to fight your case from all angles when the day in court come.
To be able to form a strong argument in court, a lawyer must have good powers of logical reasoning to analyze and conclude every situation correctly. He or she must be able to infer possible conclusions from premises and obtain a relation between them to argue logically and convincingly in court.
Research And Analysis
Strong research and analytical skills are essential to be a lawyer. You must be able to:
- Read and research your case from all the available sources, such as books, journals, case studies, and legal websites (for example: Cornell Law School, Lawrina, GovInfo).
- Analyze all the information, facts and figures
- Inquire into every detail with your client
- Observe the situation from all angles
- Pick out the relevant points
- Make a strong argument and a fool-proof plan of action out of it.
Your research must be sufficiently detailed to enable you to put forward your argument to the judge concisely and convincingly. Research and analysis skills are vital when compiling a case, providing legal advice, and drafting legal documents.
Sound Judgement And Problem-Solving
The ability to reach a sound judgment and solve problems when facing a conundrum are the markers of legal competency. An efficient lawyer should be able to critically analyze a problematic and challenging situation, use his or her intelligence and problem-solving skills to come to possible conclusions, and mark out the best possible course of the argument.
A lawyer must possess brilliant conversational and oratory skills to prove his argument in court, opposing the other party, and defend his client with utmost gusto.
Power of speech is a vital legal skill. A lawyer must have command over the language and speak with confidence and lucidity to make the points clear to everyone in the court. Oratory skills, how well a lawyer expresses their points and puts forward the case to the judge, can determine whether they succeed in or lose the case.
Defense is a vital skill that defines a lawyer. It is a crucial part of oratory qualities that helps a lawyer find their footing in the field during an argument. Even the strongest case may lose in court if the lawyer is incompetent in defense. A lawyer must intelligently frame the arguments, sentences, and questions to defend the client and win over the opponents. These skills are vital in anyone undergoing law training.
Strong communicational skills are essential to become a lawyer. A solicitor must have oral and written communication skills to arrange a case and negotiate effectively. You must be able to communicate well with clients regarding case proceedings, a plan of action, and be able to win their trust. Communication is also vital in deriving all information correctly from the clients to form your fool-proof case. Written communication skills are vital for drafting legal documents.
A lawyer must possess a strong personality to win the trust of the clients and assure them of a victory in the case. The person must also appear confident and bold enough to stand in a court of law and defend a client against all possible attacks and arguments. Personal skills that every law aspirant should develop must include:
A lawyer has to face attack in court from their opponent who will argue against the evidence presented. A lawyer’s skills and abilities must include the resilience to face these attacks with grace and to counterattack the points made with valid arguments.
Without confidence in your own abilities, you won't be able to defend the case strongly and put forward firm arguments in favor of your client to the judge. An attorney must never lose confidence even if their case seems weak or about to lose against the opponents' attack.
Patience is a key factor in law to help an individual succeed. Without patience, a lawyer may lose determination and confidence in the initial days of practice, or when a case seems weak and challenging to win.
You must be sufficiently persistent and resolute to fight tooth and nail to defend every point with facts and intelligence, playing your cards cleverly and confidently.
Apart from possessing these analytical and personal skills, a lawyer must keep up-to-date with general information about the state and the world. A lawyer’s skills and abilities must include daily reading about the latest developments in law, international relations, history, culture, politics, etc. You must know and be aware of the relevant state's General Provisions, the constitution, regulations, and all other U.S. Codes.
Therefore, observations, research, dedication, along with experience, help someone to become a lawyer. Training and education help you prepare yourself to enter the profession, however, these vital skills are the pillars of success that you must develop from the first day to become an invincible attorney.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Learn more about the key communication skills you need to be a more effective communicator.
Our eBooks are ideal for anyone who wants to learn about or develop their interpersonal skills and are full of easy-to-follow, practical information.
About the Author
Megan J. Thompson, Legal Writer at Lawrina.com. I graduated from the Washington College of Law where my emphasis was corporate law. During that time I was the recipient of numerous awards for my legal writing and my research papers. I gained experience in corporate law by working as a content writer and editor for my law school review journal. I also served as a legal writer for law review, producing high-quality professional content. I worked as an editor and writer for the Washington Post and as a paralegal for multiple law firms that required a great deal of professionalism.