Law is a highly-competitive field. Those who become lawyers spend years studying to obtain their degree and, once they graduate, they have to pass the notoriously difficult bar exam.
It is a stressful environment with long hours and a lot of paperwork. If you still want to be the top divorce or brain injury lawyer in the nation, here are the skills that you need to develop.
Due to the nature of your role, as a lawyer, you will find yourself talking a lot. Knowing the legal jargon is not enough; you need to be able to express your thoughts and opinions clearly and, often, in a way that a regular person who has no law degree can understand.
Good communication, therefore, is necessary in court and in your regular dealings. You will have to explain to your client who comes to you for advice about what will happen if they break the terms of a contract, for example. More importantly, you will have to convince the judge and the jury to give your client your desired outcome.
If you want to be a good lawyer, you need to work on your written and spoken communication skills. Take up public speaking courses to build your confidence to face anyone.
A good chunk of your job would require you to sit down and listen to other people speak, whether in the courtroom or in your private practice. If you let your mind wander, you might end up missing crucial information that can win the case.
Communication is a two-way street. When you talk, you also need to listen.
At this point, you probably already realize that the legal profession is very people-centric. You need to listen and communicate during working hours, but the job also requires you to be in constant contact with clients, judges, barristers, clerks, and other workers within the legal system.
Having people skills means forging a positive personal and professional relationship with the people around you. It means you are polite and respectful to everyone, not just individuals in a higher position, but people from all walks of life. If not, you might end up mistreating and losing a potential client.
Law is a demanding profession. It wants all your time, energy, and attention.
If you procrastinate, you will find yourself buried under a mountain of workload. Worse, you may have to go to court unprepared.
Having organization skills will make your work easier. You are not chasing your deadlines and you can find what you need under piles of documents and pieces of evidence.
If you a system in place, you can even take on more cases and make your way to the top quicker.
Stress Management Skills
The life of a lawyer is very stressful. In court, there is a lot of arguing. In the office, there are a lot of papers to go through.
You also will get little control of your day. While normal workers know what to expect on a workday, to you, it is always a mixbag. You are subject to the changing moods of the court and the demands of your clients.
Stress management skills make you stay in the field. It makes you malleable; it is what helps you get up every day, ready to face whatever challenge is ahead of you.
Being a lawyer is tough, but it is rewarding. If you have the skills mentioned above, you are on your way to becoming one of the best lawyers in the nation.