Legal careers and legal jobs are becoming one of the most dynamic and rewarding career choice; as our legal system has become an integral part of our daily lives. Either minor or major, we need legal expertise and guidance for every right that we possess.
We live in an information age, where people are aware of their fundamental rights and duties, so lawyers and other legal professionals must know how to have success for a client. A meaningful law career that solves client’s needs, leads not only to career satisfaction and a sense of achievement; but, it also can result in a high income earning potential.
More and more bright young aspirants are considering law as their prime career choice to become as successful as the lawyers and professionals they idolize. But not all who begin with high hopes succeed. So, what could be the most important qualities to obtain success in a legal career and the legal profession?
In his book, The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace Wattles notes that those who “thinks in a certain way” will succeed pure and simple. Hence, let’s take a look at the things that successful legal professionals embrace. If you do these things in that same way that the successful legal practitioner does, you will, in fact, succeed. Here, then, are a few ingredients that will lead to success in any legal job:
- Communication: A legal professional is bound to have exemplary communication skills. Communication skills cover your written, oral and listening skills. In the legal profession one has to interview suspects, witnesses, clients and all sorts of people in order to extract any and all information associated to their case; not only that but he also needs to analyze that information on various fronts to verify the veracity of the information received. Therefore, working and improving upon your communication and listening skills is essential to your success in a legal career. Any seminars, books or training devoted to increasing your communication abilities will inevitably lead to success.
- Empathic and Rational: Being empathic in the legal profession means the capacity to understand and know emotionally what a client has experienced and the ability to put oneself in clients’ shoes. Note I did not say to be sympathetic. Sympathetic means you feel sorry for your client. Empathy involves the quality of appreciating your client’s situation. At the same time a legal professional should have a rational mind and clear thinking, because as my mother used to say “rule your life with reason.”
- Out of the Box thinking: Legal professionals must have the ability to find what is hidden and present the best choices for their clients. Typically, clients are in conflict with an adversary. The creative legal professional can break deadlocks through creative solutions that lead to mutually beneficial solutions
- Specialized Knowledge: One needs to have expert knowledge in their area to work in any profession, but in this is especially so in the legal profession. The top legal professional must not only master the legal knowledge of the sector he represents but also he must gain the knowledge vital to the industry itself. As they say – “Hundred men with guns cannot steal as much as a lawyer with his words”, so to choose the right words and phrases one must be knowledgeable. For example, if you are a litigator that represents a company in the oil industry, then you must know every detail of the oil industry to prepare a strong and winning argument for the case; similarly for any client a legal professional must have a thorough knowledge of every detail associated to a client’s work.
- Confidentiality: Legal ethics demand strict confidentially with your client. If you cannot observe this basic cannon, then you cannot find success in the legal profession. Maintaining confidentiality is the foremost task of a legal professional. Attorneys, paralegals, legal receptionists, all gain confidential information and it must be kept secret. Violating the attorney client privilege is tantamount to losing a client’s faith, which can be fatal in any legal position.
- Commitment: There is a saying that “A Lawyer would do anything to win a case.” Commitment is required in any and every legal profession. Fighting a case for a client is like treating a patient; clients in the legal world have just one expectation of ‘success’ and to fulfill it, one must be committed to his work. Most of the famous and highly reputed people in legal careers forget about everything else, sometimes they overlook their personal commitments; it’s just 40% what they work at officially and 60% of the unofficial work that makes the difference. Success in the legal profession requires preparation-a lot of time in research and drawing up all the necessary documents. Perseverance is the key; one must be willing to work without any boundaries to time in a legal job.
- Diplomatic: It is said rightly that “He is not a lawyer who can’t take two sides”. There are no friends or foes in legal profession; one must say the right words at the right place and the right time. Being diplomatic makes your overall personality favorable, even for those who disagree as to what you say or believe; also, it makes you a good negotiator, which is a routine task in any legal profession. You should be diplomatic if you are trying to find success in legal careers.
- Persuasive: Whether a lawyer, attorney, paralegal or a legal assistant everyone in legal the profession should be persuasive. It requires a great amount of skill and practice to persuade a judge, jury or even client to your position. Every client expects their legal consultant to be aggressive, they do not pay you to sleep and be shy; you must learn to persuade to get success in legal careers.
- Patience: You need to be patient in order to be successful in legal profession. If you don’t succeed at first, try again; you will not get your way the first time around. You will need to write letter after letter, draft motion after motion, in order to succeed for your clients. Practicing a legal job requires a lot of waiting. Waiting around courthouses for your case to be called. Waiting around for decisions on appeals to be handed down. It is said rightly that – “If you are a legal professional, either you will learn to wait or you will simply grow old before time.”
- Last, but not the least, Love of argument: Legal professionals debate constantly; with courts, with adversaries, with companies and even with their own clients and associates. If you love to advance your position, not just occasionally or at work but day in and day out, and if you are difficult to beat in arguments; then you definitely have what it takes to excel in legal careers.