The importance of the legal profession in today’s world cannot be overemphasized, yet the image of lawyers in the general public is far from any other essential profession. In 2014, a Pew research put lawyers last in a list of 10 professional categories’ “contributions to society.”
So the question is, what creates a better lawyer image? Clients will only be drawn towards lawyers who have specific traits that make them stand out in their legal careers. Becoming a better lawyer is way beyond just attending a better law school or having a loud portfolio of cases. Here are some qualities that can help you create a better reputation as a lawyer.
Respect and Compassion for Clients
Compassion is basically a sympathetic awareness of a client’s problem, together with a strong desire to solve it. A lawyer can never exhibit their full professional abilities without respect and compassion for their clients. Many lawyers are only after money and care less about how their clients feel. That is utter disrespect to your clients’ emotions and personality.
Respect and compassion are must-have qualities for any good attorney. Without these qualities, you cannot understand your clients’ issues and opponents’ position; neither can you take pro-active steps to help your clients win their case. Whenever you respect your clients, you are sure to also retain them.
Excellent Communication Skills
In the actual sense, lawyers are communicators. Every activity in the legal profession demands communication. For instance, lawyers are duty-bound to communicate with their clients, opponents, the judge, and even the listening audience in the courtroom. While trying to win and retain clients, communication also plays an essential role. In fact, according to the American Bar Association (ABA), more than 50% of law firms spend a significant amount of time trying to win clients to their side.
Having excellent communication skills is way beyond eloquence, and the ability to write well. It also has a lot to do with the ability to give a listening ear to your clients. Some lawyers play down on listening to their clients, forgetting that efficient communication is a two-way street. When you patiently open your ears to the details and secrets that your clients, witnesses, and opposing party have to say, you may find that missing piece in the puzzle that will make you win cases for your clients.
Creativity does not only pertain to building a machine or some software. Law is an art, and it requires creativity to excel as an attorney. Lawyers are usually faced with different cases from different clients. Each of these cases has varying aims and objectives. As such, they cannot be handled in a similar manner.
You’ll need to think outside the box in many instances to proffer solutions to cases that your clients might have thought impossible. Your image as a lawyer will only get better when clients realize that you can employ your creativity to navigate your way around their problems.
“Winners never quit, and quitters never win” is a quote that is often thrown around. Howbeit, this same quote also applies in the legal profession. Doggedness is the only way to achieve success in this profession. Graduating from law school itself requires some level of perseverance. Law is a prestigious profession, and it takes a lot of hard work to make it into a meaningful and rewarding career.
There will definitely be hard times and difficult cases that might faze you and trick you into giving up. Sometimes, you can be met with a client or opposing counsel who makes things quite uneasy for you. In fact, the way a judge handles a key procedural matter might put you off. However, what will make you a successful attorney over time is your dogged attitude and willingness to weather the storms of the legal profession and make the most of it. Clients only love to deal with lawyers that can put in the time required to get a job done.
An in-depth Knowledge of Law
No client wants their case handled by a lawyer who has little to no knowledge about what he’s doing. Having an in-depth knowledge of your profession makes you a “hot-cake” in your legal career. If you know your craft, your clients will rest assured, knowing that they are in safe hands and their case will be professionally handled.
More so, it is inappropriate, and it will only make you less reputable when you have zero to little knowledge about the case you are handling. For instance, if you are a business lawyer, it might be wrong to handle a case that pertains to some couple wanting a divorce. Some of the knowledge you will acquire as a lawyer comes from your education. Therefore, you should take your time to properly study to gain more competence in your craft.
The image you depict as an attorney goes a long way in ensuring your success in your legal career. Effective communication skills, creativity, perseverance, and the other attributes highlighted above are some of the ways you can have a better image as a lawyer. Becoming a reputable and successful attorney isn’t just about going to law school. Your persona as a lawyer will always play a crucial role in helping you attract and retain clients. Go out to be one of those amazing attorneys today!