Four Skills Needed to Succeed as a Lawyer

If you’re someone who enjoys watching legal dramas, then you may have thought about pursuing a career as a lawyer. It’s a challenging field and not the right fit for everyone, but if it’s something you’re passionate about, work on developing these four skills.


Resilience and self-confidence

Legal careers are incredibly competitive. Separating yourself from the crowd takes a lot of enthusiasm and determination. In the process of becoming a lawyer, it’s likely you’ll face a good amount of rejection. You can’t let this discourage you. You’ll need the confidence to keep applying to different law schools and practices. Learn from your rejections; ask for feedback and have the courage to act on it. Confidence in your abilities will help get you where you want to be.


Time management

Being a lawyer comes with a very challenging workload and demanding deadlines. To be able to manage all of these, you’ll need to be a master at time management. You must be able to multi-task to tackle competing priorities. To improve your time management skills, start by making to-do lists and prioritize your tasks. This helps you to make sure you’re dealing with the most important things first, instead of letting them get pushed aside by minor tasks. There are many different systems for time management; finding the one that works best for you will help ensure your success.


Attention to detail

Having a sharp eye is crucial to succeeding in the world of law. One wrong word can change the meaning of an entire contract, and a misspelling in an email can give a client the wrong impression, and cost your practice their business. This attention to detail needs to start with your own cover letters and job applications. If there are mistakes in your application materials, a firm is going to be hesitant about hiring you. If your cover letter is too long or vague, a hiring manager may be unsure if you’re the right person to be offering advice to clients.



Communication is crucial in every field, but especially so in law. Without strong oral and written communication skills, you may struggle to be an effective lawyer. You also need to be a strong listener to build strong relationships with clients. To argue a case in court, you have to be confident speaking in front of others. This requires the use of persuasive and succinct language. While in college, get involved with the debate team to practice this skill. Because you’ll have to draft letters and legal documents, written communication is just as important.


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How to Decide Which Military Branch is Right for You

If you’ve been considering a career in the military, you may be wondering how to know what branch is right for you. While it’s a hard decision to make, asking yourself these four questions first will help you make an informed choice.


What skills do you already have?

If there is a skill you’re proficient in prior to joining the military, do some research into what branch has careers using that skill. There are over 800 enlisted jobs in the military, meaning it’s likely there’s a position that will be of interest to you. The positions range from language expert, to military IT guy or weapons expert. It’s likely you’ll be able to find a career that interests you and that you’ll be skilled at.


Can you deal with the commitment?

Joining the military isn’t like taking a new job. You can’t quit if things are tough or aren’t what you expected. It’s a multi-year commitment and it won’t always be easy. Read accounts from service members and veterans in every branch. Do plenty of research before signing on to make sure it sounds like what you truly want.


Have you been fully informed?

It’s an unfortunate truth military recruiters aren’t always completely honest about what joining the military will be like. It’s their job to get you to sign up, and they may stretch the truth a little bit in order to get you to do so. Actively listen to your recruiter, and then make a list of all of the questions and concerns you have. This will help prevent you from feeling misled or cheated by your situation.


What do you want to do with your future?

While some people stay in the military for their entire career, others decide to enter back into civilian life after a certain number of years. Before enlisting, think about what you may want to do with your future. While it seems far off, it’ll be here before you know it. You want to be prepared for what is going to come, and make sure you’re on the best path to achieve it.


Where do you want to live?

There are military bases all around the globe. While you don’t have any control over where you get stationed, you can choose to enlist in the branch that has bases in places you would like to live. Research all of the branches of the military and see where their bases are located. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll end up in your top choice base, but picking a branch that has more bases you’d want to live in than not means you’re likely to be happier with your decision.


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How to Add Military Experience to your Resume

michael fourte military experience resume

If your time in the military is coming to an end, you may be worrying about the transition back to civilian life. One of the biggest things to get in order is a civilian job. Your military makes you a great fit for leadership opportunities in the corporate world, as long as you know how to frame them correctly. Here are a few tips for including your military experience in your resume.

Avoid military jargon
Titles like Battery Commander, Auxiliary Officer, Equipment Operator, and Assistant G-3 Training Officer sound impressive to others who’ve spent time in the military. But, civilians who have spent no time in the military have little frame of reference to what those titles mean. While in an interview you would be able to explain what these terms mean, recruiters may not select you for an interview if they don’t understand your experience. You want to explain the duties of these titles with the civilian application of your military skills on your resume.

Provide a full picture of your military experience
During your time in the military, you likely worked in a variety of positions that have taught you valuable corporate skills. Include your interpersonal skills gained from coordinating with teammates, subordinates and commanders. Share how you were able to unite these different groups. Whether you were a unit commander or noncommissioned officer, you gained leadership experience throughout your service.


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Real Estate Terms Everyone Should Know

If you’re looking to buy your first home or your first investment property, there’s a lot of terms thrown around during the process that you may be unfamiliar with. Here are six of the most common real estate terms you may not know.

Amortization is a way of paying off your fixed-rate mortgage that combines the principal and the interest. This equalizes the monthly cost of the mortgage and makes your payments predictable. During the beginning of paying back your mortgage, the interest payment is high while the principle is low, and at the end of the loan, the interest payment is low while the principle is high.  This characteristic provides favor to a lender who will receive the majority of his interest payments early in the loan process. The borrower will stand gain the most by holding the property as long as possible toward the end of the term when the monthly payments will be more principal than interest.

The Comparative Market Analysis, or CMA, is a report of similar homes in the area that were sold recently or are on the market right now. These reports can be useful when to determine an appropriate value for your home.  Real Estate Broker’s perform these and they are based on the values of similarly selling properties.


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Real Estate Trends for 2019

2019 is here and with it new predictions for what will happen in the real estate market. In 2019, expect mortgage rates to increase. Costs will increase for home buyers, which will create a higher demand for rental properties.

Technology advancement
Technology will continue to advance and change the real estate market this year. Real estate technology has evolved rapidly, and services like Zillow and Trulia have changed the way buyers, and sellers think of the market. It’s necessary for investors considering purchasing a property to realize and understand the difference between value and price.

New buying patterns
Baby boomers currently living in traditional two-story homes will start looking to downsize and move into ranch-style homes. A one-story house means no stairs to navigate into old age. This transition will cause the value of one-story homes to increase as they become higher in demand.

Millennials will continue to purchase homes this year. Experts predict millennials will account for 47 percent of mortgages this year, compared to 37 percent of Gen Xers and 17 percent of baby boomers. They’re looking for affordability and quality of life, meaning they need to trade in urban life for the suburbs.

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How to Survive Your First Jury Trial


I have been practicing law for more than a decade now, and I like to think of myself as an expert in the field. It’s a complicated industry, but it is an absolutely crucial one; without it, some of us may never find justice. And because of my expertise and belief in fighting for what is right, I feel as though it is my duty to pass on my knowledge to up-and-coming lawyers.

For those that are unaware, the jury trial is any case or proceeding that will be determined by a jury as opposed to the judge. This is a very different type of case, and requires practice and tact.  The overwhelming majority of cases settle before ever going to trial. Of those that go to trial, only some are decided by a jury. For this reason, one of the most difficult, and nerve-wracking, aspects of being a lawyer is the jury trial. It can be tough and it will always be a learning experience, particularly for novice lawyers.

So, here are a few tips and tricks on how to prepare for your first jury trial.

The rest of this article can be found on Michael Fourte’s website.

How to Challenge a VA Appraisal


Purchasing a home is usually one of the largest investments a person can make. This is why it is absolutely critical that you take every detail into account in order to ensure that you are receiving the best possible deal. One of the best ways to do this is by requesting an appraisal of the house, which, essentially, allows you to determine the fair market value of the home. If you are a veteran and are purchasing a home with a loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), an appraisal is mandatory. While appraisals help in giving buyers as much knowledge possible in order to make an informed decision, are they always accurate? What if you wanted to challenge that appraisal because you think it’s a bit unfair? Well, today’s blog will provide some tips on how to do just that.

Get Your Information Straight

When requesting an appeal, you aren’t exactly simply asking for a “re-do”; you must present proof that shows that the original appraisal was, in fact, erroneous. In order to do this, you must get all of your information in order and comb over every piece of it. Once you’ve been given the appraisal report, you must read over it in its entirety and create an airtight case, otherwise, you risk wasting your time. Some of the most common mistakes are those related to square footage and additions and renovations that can positively or negatively impact the property’s value.

The rest of this article can be found on Michael Fourte’s website