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What Makes A Good Lawyer? What Makes A Good Lawyer?

Bronze medal Reporter Adv. Aneeta Posted 3 Nov 2020
What Makes A Good Lawyer?

We always think that a good lawyer will be a successful lawyer. That is, success itself is the measure of who is a good lawyer and who is not.

When we talk about “good”, we are talking about the standards of a profession, peer evaluation, and personal aspiration.

The professional standards are global standards of the legal profession. Peer evaluation is ever-changing and often based only on superficial opinions. Our personal aspirations are our goals of achievement, what we define by “good” given our circumstances and progress in life.

What then are the metrics so that we might evaluate ourselves to global standards, the measurement of our peers in the legal profession, and our own aspirations and achievements?

  • high intelligence;
  • analytical and advocacy skills
  • communication skills both written and verbal, communicating well to clients, to opponents, and to the Court. Good lawyers know how to communicate through emails, phone, and/or legal writings. Communication skills can never be too sharp.
  • legal knowledge to be an effective litigator.  
  • skills of thinking logically, the ability to formulate arguments on paper and verbally.
  • excellent writing skills. The more you read the more you can write. Always dedicate your time to reading. With the skill of reading, you will be able to do creative writing.
  • networking skills to attract new clients and legal work.
  • enthusiasm for lifelong learning. Cultivating a philosophy of always learning something new every day as part of a lifelong learning commitment is key to keeping and maintaining your passion.
  • good listening skills. The attorney should be willing to listen and also have the ability to listen. Many attorneys fail to put in the time and energy to fully understand and comprehend what the other party is saying
  • know well your specialty area of practice but always have some awareness of everything else that may be helpful. You should be curious to know everything under the sky. Some of it comes from education and the rest mostly from experience.
  • ability to form long term professional relationships with clients.
  • ability to analyze and articulate complex issues.
  • ability to assess strengths and weaknesses, threats, and opportunities (MBA “SWOT” analysis).
  • ability to creatively find solutions in winning cases.

If you are a practicing lawyer, these are both the formal and personal ways you need to evaluate yourself.  If “…excellence is the foundation of success…”, then the aspirational goal of setting goals, achieving them, and then setting new higher goals is a practice that will develop as a foundation for your success.

In the beginning, lawyers always seem to have a true passion for their work and their workplace. Will that continue? “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life,.” Confucius is reported to have said.

Cultivating your passion as a worker is a key talent for the development of your performance. Those who are passionate about their job are happier and consistently give better performance.

It is a tough world out there. Be ready to face anything anytime. You should be strong-willed to survive in this world. Each year there are, that much more fresh law graduates. To stand out from everyone you need to be good.

This suggests a good legal professional consistently practices the Golden Rule “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you” is a maxim in the great sayings of every culture. Think of your client like you. What would you want in the legal professional you relied upon for your legal work?

Wouldn’t value for money, professional competence, and a rewarding relationship be good?

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