What makes a good lawyer? Great examples and tips

With the stereotypic way lawyers are portrayed in the media, it’s not uncommon that they get a bad reputation. 

It makes sense when you think of it. A lot of people seek out the assistance of an attorney when things go wrong in their lives and when they find that fixing those things on their own is rather tricky. 

However, the role of a good lawyer is a crucial one in a healthy society. Lawyers exist to protect their clients from harm and stand up for their rights when someone wrongs them. 

So, what makes a good lawyer? Here are some great examples and tips on which skills a legal professional should possess: 

Being an analytical thinker 

A good lawyer is curious and investigative by nature. Instead of making presumptions, an attorney should look for different ways to question everything about a case and look at it from various perspectives.  

An analytical attorney will know the right questions to ask about the case, how to persuade a client into answering them and how to solve any problems that arise along the way.  

Analytical skills enable lawyers to critically assess a case, pay attention to detail and then – based on the limited information that they’re given – make a final decision in the interest of their clients. 

Being good at research 

Each case has its complex matter for a lawyer to untangle.  

For this reason, it’s incredibly important that your lawyer is systematic in approaching all legal matters regarding your case and competent enough to establish relevant facts from the available evidence. 

Moreover, this means that your lawyer needs to be able to identify and understand: 

  • the relevant sources of law 
  • before which court a proceeding should be initiated 
  • similar prior cases that apply to yours  
  • how to apply all of this knowledge when building a case and representing a client before the court. 

Thinking outside of the box 

While a good lawyer has to be able to draw logical conclusions out of the facts of the case presented to them, they also have to be able to think outside of the box and look for creative solutions. 

It’s nearly impossible to predict everything that an opposing party will claim throughout the proceedings, so an attorney should be someone who can think on their feet and adapt to the newly established circumstances. This, of course, requires a hearty dose of creativity. 

Actually, it’s the most creative lawyers that created all the most important precedents in law, so this is one of the most important skills a good lawyer can possess. 

Being well-spoken 

Whether orally or in writing, a good lawyer has to know how to express themselves.  

A lawyer will, among others, have to address the Court multiple times throughout the case. That’s why they must be skilled enough to flawlessly communicate the facts of the case which work in favor of their clients. 

It’s not enough for a lawyer to be confident in their abilities, but they also must have a way with words to convince the jury and judges of their greatness.  

Being a leader 

While a lawyer needs to know how to work in a team, the legal profession is one of those where there is an “I” in the “team”. 

For a lawyer to effectively communicate their message, whether that be to a client, another lawyer, insurance company, judge or anyone else, they must have exceptional leadership skills.  

Good leaders are great at listening and receiving feedback, as contributions of others can be of great importance in making a final judgment.  Listening to someone carefully and patiently is a skill, after all, and a tough one to master. 

They are also great at making independent final decisions that are based on the facts and delivering them assertively and confidently. 

Having (com)passion 

Usually, people who hire lawyers are experiencing high-stress situations in their lives.  

For this reason, the number one thing clients care about is hiring lawyers that know how to provide superb care to them.  so that they have one thing less to worry about. 

This means that, apart from having to be a good listener and a communicator, a good lawyer has to be patient and compassionate. In Spar & Bernstein law office, all clients are approached with compassion so that they have one less thing to worry about.  

However, this doesn’t mean that a lawyer should abandon all professionalism and ethics in favor of emotionally supporting their clients. A good lawyer will always retain a healthy dose of skepticism and maintain a certain composure of a legal professional. 

Most important of all, any person in need of a lawyer should make sure that they’re hiring one who loves their job. Lawyers that are happy about doing their job generally tend to perform better. 

Being resilient 

There’s a lot of pressure in the legal profession and not everyone can deal with it. However, a good lawyer knows how to manage their time, manage stressful situations and fight for themselves the same way they fight for the interests of their clients. 

As important as being committed and hardworking is, it’s also important to know when to take a step back and reassess the situation.  

Some clients or opposing counsels will be harder to deal with. A good lawyer will know how to set healthy boundaries, as well as how to effectively put an end to any disrespectful behavior. 

Sometimes, taking a step back can help a lawyer make more suitable decisions given the circumstances. 

In conclusion 

A good lawyer is one that knows when to listen and how to respond. They know how to gather all of the information necessary to build your case, what to make of it, and how to present it to the judge and jury in a way that benefits you the most. 

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