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“The most powerful way to win an argument is by asking questions, it can make people see the flaw in the logic of the opponent.”

In this article, Akanksha Singh of Meerut College discusses “How to become a great lawyer”.

Introduction

A great lawyer is a one who efficiently takes the responsibility of his client’s case. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve the specific individualized problem. It is all about how innovative your delivery of legal service is.

Qualities of a Great Lawyer

What does it take to be successful in the legal profession? As they say, practice makes a man perfect! Here are few qualities that you should consider to become a great lawyer:

Analytical Skills

  1. To be a great lawyer you should develop an analytical skill and ability to make sense of large volume of information.
  2. Both the study and practice of law involve gathering numerous information which is logical.
  3. Sometimes there is more than one reasonable conclusion to resolve the issues. A lawyer must have the skill to figure out which conclusion is more suitable to resolve an issue.

Creativity

  1. Great lawyers are not only logical and analytical, also they display a great deal of creativity in solving the issues.
  2. Being creative makes a lawyer to think of a reasonable solution when the problem arises.
  3. The best solution is not always the obvious one for a great lawyer it is necessary to think outside the box.

Research Skill

  1. Able to research quickly and effectively is important to understand your clients, and you can easily prepare your legal strategies.
  2. Preparing a legal strategy generally requires a voluminous amount of research. To become a great lawyer you should have excellent research skills to be able to gather important information.

Interpersonal skills

  1. An excellent interpersonal skill and ability to develop the good relationship with every person they work with, are necessary for a great lawyer.
  2. The lawyer should strengthen the mutual relations to cultivate expert and professional solidarity and friendly relations in their work.

Logical thinking ability

  1. It is necessary to think logically, make reasonable judgments and assumption based on present information.
  2. The lawyer should not see the opposite party as an enemy. Thus the lawyer relation with the opposite party should be concrete. Nevertheless, this should not affect the representation of his client.

Perseverance

  1. Many hours of work is required in most of the cases with great research and writing work a great lawyer must have the ability to put in the time.
  2. You must be dedicated towards your work and get it done with all your efforts. You must have the perseverance to complete the work to a successful finish.

Public Speaking Skills

  1. A great lawyer is a one who is well spoken and expressive. He should have great written communication skill and must be a good listener. In order to argue before the court, good public speaking skills are mandatory.
  2. There should be excellent public speaking skills and ability to address a courtroom comfortably.
  3. You can develop your communication and speaking skills during your studies by taking part in moot court and other general public speaking.[1]

Writing Skills

  1. Good writing helps in making the position stronger and wins cases, the combination of great speaking and writing skill is unbeatable.
  2. To become a great lawyer writing skills is extremely important which is very useful in preparing arguments, briefs, and other legal documents.

Judgement

  1. One must have the ability to draw reasonable, logical assumptions. You should able to consider the judgments critically so that you forecast area of weakness in your argument.
  2. You must be able to spot points of weakness in an opposition argument. Going through the judgment is more beneficial in the legal profession. [2]

Client care

  1. When the client is poor and incapable to pay complete remuneration to the lawyer, it should not affect the provision of legal service because the lawyer’s vocation is traditional and honorable.
  2. Successful lawyers are those who treat the clients with the highest level of professionalism and courtesy. A client may not have known about legal aspects but they can surely identify the bad behavior, ignorance, a lack of responsiveness, missed deadlines, and of course bills which are higher than expected.

Leadership quality

  1. Without leadership quality, no one can become a great lawyer. A lawyer must be a great manager and a leader, therefore leadership skill of a lawyer is necessary to succeed.
  2. They should know how to manage every person working under them in a most peaceful and responsible way.[3]

To learn how to develop the qualities of a great lawyer visit here

Code of conduct for lawyers

The Code of Professional Ethics of the lawyers is a sum of adopted principle, which serves as directions to the lawyers during their work. These principles are in compliance with the general principle of professional ethics of the Bar.

All lawyers are obliged to take care of the regular application of this code

General Provision

Independence

The lawyer is independent in executing his obligations and he should not let his personal interest or third-party influence him to execute his obligation to the client. A lawyer is obliged not to allow any violation of his independence.

Confidence

The client must have confidence or trust on his lawyer and lawyer should be enough capacity to gain the confidence of his client and this could be achieved only if the lawyer has a personal dignity, honor, and integrity.

Reliability

It is a preliminary and fundamental right and obligation of the lawyer. Without the principle of reliability, there would be no confidence and trust between the lawyer and the client. This principle is not time limited and it applies to any information that lawyer would be informed by the client in executing his legal profession.

Inappropriate Profession

This principle restrains the lawyer from indulging himself in other profession or activities of a subject which is not connected with a legal profession and are violating his dignity, independence, etc.

Professional activities, duties or status of a person are not connected with the advocacy are:

  • Bankruptcy Manager
  • Legal Representative of commercial firm
  • Founder, member or partner, manager or employee in the commercial firm which main activity is legal consulting, real estate agency or other legal subjects who, by his work, are representing non loyal concurrence of the advocacy.

Personal Advertising

The lawyer cannot advertise himself or look for a personal publicity in an inappropriate manner. He cannot make any advertisement to get more clients

It is prohibited announcing on his website the names of the clients that were represented by the lawyer.

Client’s interest

The lawyer is required to act in the interest of his client. He should put interest before the Court.[4]

Relationship with the court and other bodies

  1. During the execution of the function, the lawyer should protect the reputation of the court, and other judicial bodies where he represents his client. He is obliged to give decent resistance against any attempt to violate the principle of democracy and personal.
  2. The friendly relation of the lawyer with the judge or other representatives should not be expressed during the execution of lawyer’s function. Before the court and the other bodies lawyer should act as his client’s proxy for protection of their rights and legal interest. He is also obliged to bring up the factual state clearly and to the point, orally or written.

Professional Secrets

  1. Any information given to the lawyer from his client regarded the legal advice, representation or defense shall be considered a professional secret. The lawyer should keep professional secret in order to respect disciplinary responsibilities. It shall be considered to be a secret during the representation or defense, as long as its public disclosure may damage the party.
  2. If a client demands from the lawyer to represent him opposite to the factual truth, a lawyer may refuse to represent him. If the lawyer finds out the information which is not disclosed by his client during the representation of the legal entity or if he found out the information while he was working in the same, he may not use any such information in any procedure to the determinant of the organization.

The lawyer’s office and its firm title

  1. A firm title of the lawyer’s office should be placed on the building where the office is situated but its form and content should not be used for an advertising purpose.
  2. The lawyer should meet his client in his office, in order to maintain the office reputation. It is indecent if the lawyer performs his activities in the court’s passage, restaurant, and other indecent places.[4]

How to become a great lawyer

The great lawyer is the one who has a responsibility to ensure justice for his client, he not only understand the case but also guides his client through the legal system. He is the one who can easily make all differences in his client’s case. There is numerous peculiarity that makes a successful lawyer.

Know the Law

One should know every law (especially in the area where they are working), there should be nothing which is skipped.

Contract Drafting

  • Drafting is a preliminary stage in which a lawyer begins to develop a more strong position. Contract drafting formulated the term of contractual relationship, it includes terms and conditions. For a lawyer, it is necessary to frame the facts, terms and conditions a clear form.
  • If you want to be a corporate lawyer then it is must for you to know how to draft a contract.
  • Drafting of the contract is a very basic skill which should be learned by every lawyer also it is a profitable part of any legal practice, no matter in which area they specialize. To know more about drafting or if you want to learn how to draft a contract you can access the link here
  • Creation of commercial contract includes:Registration requirements
    • Stamping
    • Attestation
    • Notarization
    • Apostillation

To know more please visit here

Conduct research when needed

  • The lawyer is required to improve his general and professional knowledge permanently. You should follow the research regulations and expert literature in the field of law, also should convey the knowledge unselfishly to other lawyers especially to the associates and lawyer apprentices.
  • If you are dealing with a case which is involving an issue that you have not negotiated with before, one must do the legal research thoroughly and find answers and key points. A great lawyer doesn’t assume that they know everything, they always believe in an ongoing learning process. They face the new challenges every day and they believe in working on them.
  • Legal research has changed rapidly over 20 years. One should be more familiar with electronic research methods. To learn how to conduct the research you can do various courses, visit here
  • Know your information
  • A great lawyer is the one who keeps himself up-to-date regarding various laws, amendments, judgments and new developments.
  • The lawyer should evolve his intellectual abilities, professional and other social activities, always in the framework of the lawyer’s vocation.

Learning essential skills

One must have the ability to acquire the following prerequisite skills

Practice critical thinking

  • In order to be a great successful lawyer, you must have an ability to look at and understand the legal issues. Proper analysis will help you to identify the issues and in developing a sound legal argument to make your client’s position stronger.
  • The lawyer is obliged to represent and defend his client conscientiously, using all necessary means which are permitted by the law but the lawyer should avoid submitting unnecessary brief or proposals.
  • It is pertinent to grasp all the matter of fact and matter in issue before you make your conclusion.
  • To be a great lawyer you should not always rely on your client to tell you everything openly. A client may not provide you every information because they may not know what is important or what can be the loophole in their case. Ask the questions from your client which are necessary and important enough to find out the information that you need.

Develop your writing skills

To be a great lawyer you should not underestimate the writing skills that are needed. Lawyers spend a great deal of their time in filing pleading and other documents with the court. You are more likely to create a good position for your client if you have good writing skills. Your pleading must contain all the general rules given below:

  • You must hit the element of each claim being brought to the court’s attention
  • Clarify the facts.
  • Legal issues must be identified.
  • Determine the laws and regulations which apply to your issue.
  • Apply the laws to the fact of your case

Work on your oral communication skills

  • To become a great lawyer you must have excellent communication skills. You must be able to articulate a client’s position to the court, effectively question a witness, argue to a jury.
  • To be a great lawyer you should know how to have effective communication with other lawyers because it will help in settlements that are acceptable to all parties.
  • In dealing with the court, you should be able to concisely and effectively argue for your client’s position by keeping in mind you should not disrespect opposing counsel or the court.

Attend trial practice seminar

  • Trial training is offered by national organizations for those lawyers who regularly represent clients in the courtroom.
  • There are trial techniques that can be valuable in becoming a great lawyer, also it improves your trial practice skills, communication skills, and increase your knowledge.

Join a local, state, or national bar association

  • To become a great lawyer it is necessary that you should learn more from experienced attorneys. Bar associations often sponsor Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seminars and other valuable opportunities for professional development.
  • You may also develop a network of people who can resolve your queries.

Find a mentor

Every lawyer needs a more experienced person to guide him and it is necessary to become a great lawyer, without any proper guidance you cannot put yourself into qualitative work, and this will help you in present your case in the most valuable manner.

Decorum to Clients, Colleagues, and Judges

To become a great lawyer you should be more polite, patient and respectful towards your client, Judge, colleagues, court staff etc.

Speak politely to Judges and Court staff

Your professionalism depends on how you present yourself in the Court, you should be very careful toward your behavior. Your behavior represents your personality, to become a great lawyer you should learn how to act and react to various circumstances.

Use prudence and grace when dealing with client

  • Try to look at the situation from the point of your client. You don’t have to represent every client that comes along but make sure who you represent you will give all your 100% to make the position of your client stronger.
  • The lawyer is obliged to inform his client about the expense and remuneration for the representation, if the client’s condition is not financially strong, the lawyer should adjust according to the financial condition of his client.

Listen to your client

  • The lawyer as a provider of legal service and performer of public authorization should give legal assistance, represent or defend the client every time when a client refers to him/her for that purpose.
  • Even if your client has made a wrong decision throughout the course of your representation, never judge your client, just listen and advise, figure out how can you handle the situation and resolve the issue then and there.

Be honest with the Court, colleagues, and your Clients

  • The lawyer is obliged to establish a relationship of confidence with his client to remain loyal to him. Being dishonest will take you nowhere, in fact, it ends up with your negative impact on others. If the disciplinary commission of your state finds that you have violated the professional rules of conduct then your license can be revoked, so be careful that you should not play any role in dishonesty.
  • While representing the client, the lawyer should accept neither the offer to represent the opposite party in the same case nor the other activities which are opposite to his client’s interest.

Question witness appropriately

  • A great lawyer knows how to question witnesses, present evidence, and make arguments in court. Before you make the courtroom debut you should learn how to follow the procedure and rules of the courtroom and how to prove your case.
  • While interrogating a witness, ask appropriate and relevant questions. Don’t sarcasm the witness if he becomes emotional and maintains the professional distance. Give special care to a minor witness or victim of a violent crime. You will be judged by the way you treat others during a court proceeding.

Maintaining a High Level of Ethics

For legal practitioners, ethics takes to another level of importance. As a professional, you should seek to maintain the highest standard of honesty, integrity, fairness in your dealings.

Keep attorney-client relationship confidential

Do not disclose the information given to you by your client, you can provide the information to the court which is necessary and only to the extent you are required to do so.

Follow state’s rules of professional conduct

Every state has a set of rules that govern a lawyer’s behavior. Make sure that you will follow these rules otherwise you run the risk of being disciplined, which may result in a suspension or revocation of your license.

Comply with law

If a crime is committed by you, not only you will be subject to the penalty but also to professional misconduct. Depending on the nature of a crime, you can lose your job too.

Making a difference

To be a great lawyer it is not necessary you should earn six figures. So should make yourself best at your work, be prepared for every kind of situation. Be a lawyer on whom everyone can rely before handing over their case.

Know that there are many different paths to be a great lawyer

There are lawyers who consider themselves successful when they become a partner at high-powered law firm, some are happy in living their solo practices, some other consider non-profit or public interest work to be the key to success. In the end, one will become a great lawyer who has to bury himself in the cases he is dealing with and analyze, evaluate and then conclude.

Manage stress

Learn how to let go of stress and manage it on a day-to-day basis. This step will allow you to think more calmly and clearly which will be very fruitful for your career.

Be happy with your career

Be passionate towards your career, enjoying your profession won’t allow you to feel burdened and you will learn every time something new with your experience, never regret your choice. A great lawyer is a one who gives his 100% to his profession without any hesitation and fear inside.[5]

Prepare a trial notebook

To keep track of the questions you want to ask, the points you want to put in argument and the facts record them in a trial notebook.

Preparing a trial notebook is one of the most important tasks it contains all the things which you need during the trial. Your notebook should reflect the particular requirement of the case. The trial notebook should include:

  • Assemble evidence and create a list to keep track of exhibits.
  • Complete your trial outlines.
  • Make a list of the witnesses in order to anticipated appearance.
  • Prepare a trial brief showing summary of law and facts of the case.
  • Prepare a separate file for each witness.
  • Prepare the list of the witness to present to the judge.
  • Write an outline of your opening statement and closing arguments.
  • Prepare sample verdict forms.

Meet your deadlines

Once you file the necessary papers related to your case, you will face a number of deadlines. When the case is heard by the jury he will tell your opponent what evidence you introduced at trial. Make proper notes of these deadlines and great lawyer don’t miss to meet each of them.

Learn the elements of your case

The numerous element that a great lawyer needs to prove in order to win. You need to plan ahead carefully to make sure that you can prove every single element of your case, and you should be able to disapprove the elements of your opponent.

Evidence should be admissible

You can figure out which evidence will help you to prove the facts. Rules of evidence will determine whether a particular document, the statement is admissible in the court or not. You should be ready with enough research to make sure you will be able to present the evidence you need to win.

Don’t interrupt

You should not interrupt the opponent and especially the judge. You will get a chance to represent yourself so be patient and listen to the opposite party carefully. [6]

Things to do inside the law school to become a great lawyer

Mooting Where to start your preparation towards

Mooting is a presentation which is orally done of legal issues or problems before a judge against an opposing counsel. It is an extracurricular activity done in the law school. It helps in building up the confidence and help to know how to present the case before the judge. Mock trials provide a great opportunity to learn from your mistakes before becoming a lawyer.

It involves:

  • Drafting
  • Argument, and
  • Presentation

The thing which can be learned by taking part in the moot competitions:

  • Preparation of speech
  • Research
  • How to speak in the court
  • Handling the situation
  • Understanding and framing powerful arguments
  • Memo architecture
  • Understanding technical aspects

To learn more about the mooting visit here

How to set up your law practice

  • Two kinds of litigation practice are:Criminal Litigation, and
    • Civil Litigation
  • Usually, people spend a lot of time on developing their practice. If you want to become a great lawyer you should be more innovative and believe in a qualitative work which gives the best outcome. There are different course for young lawyers i.e. “Nani Palkhivala Law Practice Management” it may help you in various forms and a way to set up your law practice in a strong way.
  • Doing a practice in a more systematic way can make a world of difference, the lawyer should be more focused and organized, it is most important to develop skills and knowledge regarding the law and the way to implement it to start your own practice.You can through here and here learn more about how can you set up your law practice in a most productive way.

What is the Difference between Good Lawyer and Great Lawyer

Some professionals may think it is enough to be a good lawyer. Where the fact is it simply isn’t enough in today’s scenario to be just a good lawyer.

Basis Good Lawyer Great Lawyer
Response to client’s call Good Lawyer may or may not respond the call if they are busy in some of their work. Great Lawyer always response the call of their client. Their client is always their priority.
Knowledge They know the law They not only know the law but also knows what makes their client’s position stronger.
Creativity They usually don’t believe in being more creative and find the solution which can be obvious. They try to go out of the box for more solutions which can be more valuable than the ordinary once.
Assurance They give their best to keep promise about work will be completed “good lawyer try to deliver” They give assurance and surely get it done “Great lawyer Delivers”
Confidence They are reasonably comfortable in most circumstances. They are confident in every circumstance.
Handling of situation They may or may not become panic. They handle every situation with calmness.
Attend meetings They usually attend meetings and listen to other. Great lawyer not only the good listener but also arrive early fully prepared and make others listen to them.
Responsibility They are thought of as “capable” and are expected to do a good job. They own the client’s problem and ensures that they will take every possible step to client success.
Loyalty They may or may not loyal towards their client. They are always loyal towards their client.
Feedback Good lawyers accept feedback when clients offer it. Great lawyers seek meaningful feedback from client and act on it.

[7]

To know more please visit here  

Conclusion

A Great lawyer is more creative, expressive, and never interrupt his opponent and the judge. He has an ability to think logically, always do a good research, and has analytical skill. He knows how to establish a good relationship with the court and other bodies and maintain his dignity. It is necessary, to be honest with the court, colleagues, and clients. A great lawyer knows very well how to question the witness and maintain the high level of ethics.

References

[1] Qualities of a great lawyer

http://environmentallawschools.org/resources/top-10-qualities-of-a-great-lawyer(Date of visit is 14/02/18 and the time of visit the site is 11:05 AM IST)

[2]https://www.allaboutlaw.co.uk/stage/becoming-a-lawyer/7-qualities-every-good-lawyer-should-have(Date of visit is 14/02/18 and the time of visit the site is 12:05 PM IST)

[3] Characteristics of a successful lawyer.

http://blogs.lexisnexis.co.uk/futureoflaw/2017/06/characteristics-of-a-successful-lawyer/(Date of visit is 14/02/18 and the time of visit the site is 3:05 PM IST)

[4] Code of professional ethics for lawyers.

http://www.ccbe.eu/NTCdocument/Code_of_ethics_20061_1237990282.pdf(Date of visit is 15/02/18 and the time of visit the site is 1:05 PM IST)

[5] Successful lawyer

https://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Successful-Lawyer(Date of visit is 14/02/18 and the time of visit the site is 3:05 PM IST)

[6] How to become a great lawyer.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/tips-success-courtroom-29462.htm(Date of visit is 16/02/18 and the time of visit the site is 12:00 PM IST)

[7] Difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer.

https://www.legalmarketingblog.com/marketing-tips/the-difference-between-good-lawyers-and-great-lawyers/ (Date of visit is 16/02/18 and the time of visit the site is 3:05 PM IST)

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5 COMMENTS

  1. It is a great Article and really helpful to us. Amazing information that you have mentioned here. It helps me to understand it clearly. Thanks a lot. Also you can visit on this website to know more about legal industry.

  2. […] However, most of them just lack the professionalism they should have. You have to ensure that your lawyer is professional and acts with confidence. This implies that he/she behaves and speaks in a courteous and […]

  3. A good friend of mine is going through a messy divorce and needs to find a good lawyer. She’s never hired a lawyer before and isn’t really sure what she should be looking for. I really like that this article describes what a good lawyer looks like, especially that lawyers should be honest and willing to take the high road.

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