Practice makes a man perfect; practice makes a lawyer better at judgement and case management. Advocates are the most demanded professionals currently, all thanks to the unsurmountable amount of crimes, illegal activities and other litigation cases.
However, lawyers have existed since the ancient times, trying to find balance in relationships, developing rules and regulations and defining policies to maintain peace and order in communities.
Independent lawyers are everywhere today but it takes a lot more than just reading through the law books to be an exceptional advocate.
Advocacy is one of those professions that need essential qualities or traits, traits involving people management, critical analysis and psychology. So, if you are thinking to become a freelance lawyer, make sure you work on these 7 essential qualities of a great lawyer for career excellence.
7 Personality Traits a Freelance Lawyer Should Have
1. Talking, Confrontation and Argument needs Great COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Lawyers literally have to be eloquent and articulate. Communication skills are the most important set of qualities that a freelance lawyer must hone. You should have impeccable writing skills and have to be a good listener. Effective writing skills will help you to produce crisp and precise legal documents.
Listening to your clients, the defending lawyers as well as other parties clearly can solve cases in half time. Client verdict analysis, complex testimony analysis and following to and fro arguments require good listening skills.
As a lawyer, you have to hone your presentation and public speaking skill as well to be convincingly immaculate in front of juries and judges inside courtrooms.
Lawyers are known to be great manipulators. However, Careerlancer suggests you to be a diplomat rather than a manipulator. Diplomacy is telling the actual facts in a sweeter and convincing manner, whereas Manipulation is the act of breaking down truth and presenting it with added falsies.
You can refine your communication skills during your practice or by taking part in activities such as general public speaking or mooting.
2. Knowing The Right from The Wrong Needs Exceptional JUDGEMENT SKILLS
Advocacy is all about finding out the real truth by decoding manipulations, diplomacy and hidden messages. You have to constantly draw reasoning, understand logics and assumptions and derive exclusive conclusions from limited information or scattered sources.
Judgement skills is always not limited to coming to conclusions, but also extends to finding the loop holes so that you can anticipate the lean points or areas of weaknesses in your arguments that you must fortify.
You can judge a case, a person or a document correctly when you have a calm and composed mind. Calmness helps us to think rationally. Similarly, decisiveness as well as finding weaknesses in opposition parties within short period is part of your judgement skills.
3. In Order to Get to The Truth You Need RESEARCH SKILLS
Researching people, history, facts, documents and other data is an everyday task for a freelance lawyer. Henceforth, you have to research quickly, yet meticulously so that all aspects are covered, to understand clients, their needs, their drawbacks and defending party’s plans and prospects, and prepare legal strategies.
Although, the work load will be less initially, as you will grow big, preparing legal strategies, especially for complex cases would require absorbing, comprehending and processing unsurmountable amount of data and information, some of which broken in shrivels, distil them and put them together into a more manageable and useful format. Everything should be done all by yourself.
4. Freelance Lawyer Needs PERSVERANCE SKILLS as Cases May Take Years to Conclude
Even before you start to work, you have to persevere and commit to the profession. It’s not easy to be a freelance practicing lawyer; unlike other career choices and similar to a doctor, a lawyer has to obtain a practicing license for advocacy.
A noble man had once said, “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other”.
You have to go through an undergraduate degree, followed by an LPC and then write another training exam before you qualify as a lawyer. In order to understand the depth of the profession you can also complete a vacation scheme or gain experience by working as an assistant to experts, before venturing as freelancer.
As a lawyer, you cannot lose faith in your capabilities. Most often cases would take years to conclude. You have to be persistent and have perseverance to complete your role and drive the work towards the finishing line.
5. By the People, For the People and On Behalf of the People – PEOPLE SKILLS
Academic performance is irrelevant in advocacy, because at the end of it, a lawyer has to work with people, their personal affairs and their psychology and make life altering decisions on behalf of the people.
Besides, freelance lawyers are also exposed to crucial arguments, bad moods, threats and even emotional turbulence, every day. You have to deal with them too.
So, apart from being personable, responsible and understanding psychology, you have to also create armour around your emotions to concur against threats, warnings, stress and other mental disturbances.
6. To Manage People, Data, Phone Calls and Paperwork You Need Excellent ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS
Both study and practice of law involves time management and organization for a freelance lawyer. You have to not only process client’s information but also handle paperwork, history, data, finance, court appearances and other activities, every day.
This is going to be your normal routine. On top of it, you have to constantly scheme, strategize, plot and plan your future arguments and presentations.
You can tackle all of these with excellent organizational and time management skills. You have to allot work to yourself according to your capabilities. More work, although tempting, can take a toll on your productivity and services.
However, once your career is established, you can hire an assistant who would help you with documentations & paperworks.
7. Having a Dose of CREATIVITY and AGGRESSIVENESS is a Great Way of Winning Challenges
It is clear that every client wants a determined lawyer who argues with agility, intelligence and unnerving strength. If you want to face all obstacles and go on a winning streak, you have to be aggressive (and not violent) in courtroom and use creativity to achieve objectives.
Remember, the best solution is not always obvious but you can defend your opposition by thinking out of the box and using creative tricks.