Many early-career and experienced professionals alike consider their skill set to be a combination of qualities, abilities, and experiences they can apply to complete tasks. Skill sets can include assets like leadership, organizational skills, and interpersonal skills. They may also consist of technical knowledge like research skills, computer programming, or specialized forms of writing. Some skills can be transferrable across various industries while others may be domain-dependent. Listed below are qualities you should consider working on if you aspire to be a great lawyer.
Knowledge of the Law and Legal System
First, being a great lawyer requires a strong understanding of the law and system of the land. Perhaps the best way to gain knowledge of the legal field is to enroll in a law degree program. No other degree programs consist of courses relevant to practicing law than law programs. Learners can receive an education in legal matters in-person or through online programs. Pursuing a bachelor degree in law online could be the best way to go for you. The best online bachelor in legal studies degree has accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA). It has core courses and electives that cover necessary skills like legal writing, legal research, and various practice areas, such as family law, real estate law, and more. With courses taught by experienced, licensed attorneys, such a program can help you get your foot in the door in the legal field. You’ll have the credentials and information needed to work in the paralegal profession.
A high school college counselor can help you with your college search and help you choose the right legal studies program. They can assist you with test and interview preparation, resume building, essay editing, and internship matching. These services can help you submit a stellar application that receives acceptance into a reputable, ABA-approved online program. Additionally, they can help you obtain financial aid and identify grants and scholarships available based on your grade level, test scores, and transcripts. Earning a degree in an ABA-accredited bachelor’s program prepares you for graduate study in law. Practicing certain areas of law may require you to receive specialized education and pursue a master’s degree in legal studies or a Juris Doctor. For instance, practicing as a personal injury lawyer entails knowing a distinct body of law compared to practicing as a corporate lawyer, criminal prosecutor, or defense attorney. A solid academic foundation at the undergraduate level allows you to take your legal career to the next level.
A Good Sense of Judgment
Your prospective clients will have to make judgments regarding hiring you and determining if a legal case is even worth pursuing. As a lawyer, you also have to make judgments. At times, you may have to decide whether it’s worth representing clients in some instances. In other cases, you may be in the middle of settlement negotiations, and your client may ask you for your opinion on the proposed deal. Your client is the one who ultimately makes choices, but it’s your responsibility to ensure your client understands and knows relevant information that will help them make informed decisions. Having good judgment is a key to lasting in the legal field.
Excellent Communication Skills
Communicating is crucial to being a great lawyer. Attorneys communicate with clients, other parties relevant to the case, and the court. Conveying important ideas through legal writing, phone conversations, formal or informal emails, and private consultation is essential to doing the most thorough job possible, representing your clients and upholding the law. Furthermore, as communicating with your clients and other relevant parties is a two-way street, listening is an essential part of communication. Listening to your clients, witnesses, and even opposing counsel can make the difference between winning a case and losing it. Truly opening your ears and putting in the energy and time required to understand what other parties are communicating to you fully can positively impact the outcomes of your cases. In all, great lawyers use their skills to their advantage, taking in and analyzing relevant information and implementing a plan of action from there.