I was chatting to a friend recently who works at the fantastic Khan Law Firm and we got on to talking about what it takes to become a great lawyer. The reason that I was asking is that I spend a great amount of my time working with young students in schools across Seattle, helping them with their career choices.
Many of my students ask me about going into the legal practice and becoming a lawyer and so I wanted to get my friend’s feedback on what it is that makes someone a great lawyer. And so, I thought that I would also share it on here so that if you have dreams of being a great lawyer some day, you can learn from these tips too. Let’s take a look then at what skills great lawyers possess.
The very best lawyers can draw on their experience and from their readings to bring up previous cases and the points which were made during them. In order to be able to have this kind of information, lawyers must have great analytical skills which help the to process huge amounts of data, and pick out the key points for future use.
Although TV shows would have you think otherwise, lawyers are not one men armies who march into courtrooms and demand justice. Every case that is brought to court is worked on by a team of legal professionals and the very best lawyers have the ability to not only surround themselves with excellent people, but they understand how a team works, and how to play their role within it.
No great lawyer spends just a few hours in the office each day, these lawyers are the first through the door and the last out, the ones who will stop at nothing to win. If you have any ambitions of becoming a great lawyer then this is the attitude which you need to have, that all out commitment that is so rare to find.
Lawyers deal with a wide range of cases and an equally wide range of people from various backgrounds who are being directly affected by the legal proceedings. For this reason it is vital that a lawyer is capable of showing a great amount of compassion to those who they are dealing with and be professional at the same time.
The law is forever changing and with every new landmark case, there is something more to argue going forward. For this reason a great lawyer is one who knows that the studying never stops and the more that they can learn about current changes in the law, the more that they can help their clients to win in the future. The studying doesn’t stop once you have completed law school if you wish to be a great lawyer, it has only just begun.
Being a lawyer is personally, professionally and financially rewarding and it is a great career choice for any of you out there who possesses these skills.