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

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.

 

This article was originally published on MichaelFourte.com.

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How to Survive your First Jury Trial

Michael Fourte 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.

 

There Will Be Pressure

Knowing this from the very beginning will help you, at least mentally. Whenever handling a case, there is always a certain amount of pressure, no question about it. However, with a jury trial, that pressure can be amped up to 11. Think about all of the moving variables: you have to speak clearly and concisely, you have to be prepared to handle any and all objections and opposing evidence, you need to be commanding and you need to do this in front of a jury of strangers. People that you’ve never met before, and will likely never see again afterwards, will be deciding the fate of your client. You only have one chance to impress the panel of “judges,” so to speak. In fact, in law If you are not a natural public speaker, then you need to learn quickly. You can know the law backwards and forwards and be one of the greatest litigators in existence, but if you cannot communicate effectively, you are essentially useless in a courtroom. Know the pressure and anticipate it.

 

To read the rest of this article, visit Michael Fourte’s website!