It was Oscar Wild who said – “I am so clever sometimes that I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying”. Law is not always clear but lawyers have to be. The law is, in essence, a communications profession. Here are a few qualities that you should consider working on if you aspire to be a successful lawyer:
Lawyers must be able to speak clearly, have good written communication skills and be good listeners. In order to argue convincingly in the court good public speaking skills are essential. A litigator must develop the art of modulating his voice as per the demand of the situation. Practice is key.
Lawyers must develop a regular habit of reading. Lawyers must be able to take in a great deal of information, often on unfamiliar topics. The ability to digest relevant information from lengthy texts is essential.
All legal reasoning follows a particular path. Legal argument often falls to be rejected in the absence of the following steps:
- Issue – What specifically is being debated?
- Rule – What legal rule or law governs this issue?
- Facts – What are the facts relevant to this rule or law?
- Analysis – Apply the rule or law to the facts.
- Conclusion – Having applied the rule or law to the facts, what is the outcome?
A lawyer’s ability to draw logical conclusions from limited information is essential for his practice. Decisiveness is an integral part of judgement.
Law is not an abstract practice. A lawyer need to be able to collaborate and work well in a team. In addition, he must have the ability to put ego aside and help bring out the best in others. He must be personable, persuasive and able to read others.
Legal issues are rarely resolved with a simple answer. When working on a case, you must have the perseverance to complete the work necessary to drive it to a successful finish. “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” Perseverance and determination are necessary to forge through the most difficult and lengthy cases.
Creativity simply means lawyers should have the ability to think of new ideas. It is about having original ideas with value. Successful lawyers display a great deal of creativity in their problem solving. Like any skill, generating creative ideas takes practice. The scientist Linus Pauling once said, “The best way to get a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”