In this article, Akanksha Singh of Meerut College discusses “How to become a great lawyer”.
Following are some skills, abilities, habits, attitude, which one possesses being a Lawyer or advocate – A Good Lawyer or Advocate – A Great Lawyer or Advocate.
Skills of a good lawyer
Good Communication Skills
Lawyer or advocates must possess excellent communication skills, both oral and written. To argue with more persuasiveness before the Hon’ble Judge(s) in a Court of Law, speaking with fluency efficiently and effectively is a skill that can be learned and developed during the time in pursuance of the graduation while indulging in extra-curricular activities like, Moot Court(s), Youth Parliament(s) and various competitions.
As if the activities built the communication skills of an individual in writing by researching on various topics and oral by presenting that conducted research before the Judge or even to the public at large.
It is the skill to make, draw or reach the logical and logical conclusions from the limited information provided and received. Anticipate and spot the possible event(s) and happening(s), analyze the positive and negative areas of the case to prepare the same in such a manner that is beneficial and in the favour and taken into consideration the interest of the client.
Being involved and as a part of the legal industry, a lawyer or Advocate must possess a distinctive attribute of analytical skills as if to crystallize the information received either, half or wrong. A lawyer or Advocate must be able to analyze the events by using the critical method of analyzing.
Another most crucial skill needed to be a good lawyer or Advocate is the ability to research as quick as lightning, also, to be ready, the research and approach towards the same must be valid and efficient taken into consideration the legal strategies which satisfy and safeguards the interest of the clients.
Perseverance is the skill on the one side and attitude on the other. I want to confess perseverance is the nature and attitude which develops the capability to deal and perform the activities and task(s) assigned productively and constructively with the numerous and variety-full events which in further embodies distractions.
Few of the eminent Jurist(s) and Attorneys not only be perseverant but logical and analytical also have the traits of creativity. In order to reach a possible best conclusion it is not always to take the paths of the precedents or the obviousness, one must be creative and possess the ability to think out of the box.
Logical Thinking Ability
It has to be logical enough to draw and make out the conclusions, following the approach of justifiableness and reasonableness.
Even though the other counsel is your opponent, but it should not be minded and must not be considered and regarded as the enemy of the client or the lawyer or advocate itself.
A fair amount of good relations must be formed with the opposite counsel, but that ties must not be affecting or disregard the interest of the client.
Public Speaking Skills
Well-spoken and be expressive being an essential skill that a great lawyer or Advocate possesses. A critical element(s) like public speaking and addressing a Court of Law, a lawyer or Advocate must be flawless and magnificent;
Public speaking is a skill which can be developed by acknowledging the fact that one correctly and genuinely want(s) to work upon his this skill.
Excellent writing skills assists and aids in making the position of the client and case, the marriage and fusion of both speaking and writing skills are invincible. In order to become a great lawyer or Advocate, tremendous writing skills are needed which are useful and beneficial while preparing the case arguments, briefs and other legal documents.
No individual lacking leadership quality in itself can become a lawyer or Advocate. A lawyer or Advocate must be accompanied by managerial skills (manage the people one is working within a manner which is peaceful and responsive) and leadership skills, and thus leadership skills are necessary for a lawyer or advocate to be successful.
To be a great lawyer or advocate one must have and possess the quality and skill to listen to each, and every individual tend(s) to speak before him, develop the ability to listen to others patiently and carefully.
In practical, this skill helps the lawyer or Advocate and their practice in every possible manner so as to cross-examine the witness, or to the finding of the opposite counsel and facilitate in an effective rebuttal.
Decision Making Skills
Based on the understanding of the event with full reasonableness and in a logistic manner, a lawyer or Advocate can make out and draw conclusions based upon the information provided to him and his past experience(s).
Decision-making skills are the ability to take decisions out of situations and events after analyzing them, and another person can judge the lawyer or advocate through his ability to make decisions that may in future events bring stability and upgrade the personality of his client and perform accordingly with the needs of the client taking into consideration its interest.
A good lawyer or Advocate must have the capacity and ability to understand the topics in its deepest sense and essence form, in lightning speed to understand the numerous things simultaneously, the client, case, remedy, and justice he wishes to seek, or likewise.
Not only enquiring but, inquiring and analyzing the appropriate provisions are pointed out and implied in a particular case, so this is done, in a smoother way as if a lawyer or Advocate acquires the skill of enquiring.
Understanding of minute details of the topics of Law is taken into consideration while doing study and practice of law, as to understand, organize the information gathered in a comprehensive manner.
So, as to develop this skill, one must indulge in the practice of client competition(s) and Moot Court (s) while studying in the Law College.
Firmness, being a very important and crucial trait as if it tests the consistency and regularities in a good lawyer or advocate to pursue a case. It is the ability and skill demanded by this career from a lawyer or advocate to be consistent and stick loyally towards the client and his case in a Court of Law before the Hon’ble Judges.
Characteristics of a good lawyer
Professionalism and courtesy, these two are the qualities and traits of those lawyers or advocates who know that their clients are to be treated with.
Client’s care must be taken as a primary concern by a lawyer or advocate and must be taken into consideration and acknowledged in a fact that client is the only person who is going to arrange for you and your family’s bread and butter and therefore, must be treated with utmost respect and sincerity.
Understanding the Client’s Business
Understanding and analyzing the business of the client, which helps its Attorney to act and perform in accordance with its business sector and industry, in a manner which suits the need of its client and benefit them.
As if a lawyer or Advocate is well versed with his client’s business, then only the favourable outcome is guaranteed out of its lawyer or Advocate’s conduct while acting and performing on behalf of its clients.
The lawyer or Advocate who understands and acknowledges the client care and its business will definitely be good at Business Development; it will eventually increase his working pace by building new business relations and tie-ups.
It is generally noticed that in a small practice, usually Leadership skills are needed neither, the management skills are needed at peak or god level.
Whereas on the other hand, large firm’s leadership skills play a very crucial and important role while determining the skill-set and thought process of the lawyer or Advocate so as to be a leader of a follower.
Lawyer or advocates engaged in the cross-border transaction(s) or case(s), project management skills are crucial, to do, perform and manage the project(s) indulged in. Coordination is a very primary and generic factor that helps in facilitating the management of a project between different nations indulging in the lawyer or advocates practising in a variety of field(s) and industries at different paces.
The lawyer or Advocate must deal with all the situation(s) and event(s) with the utmost responsive manner. Timely research, planning, execution, present on the date of the hearing, all these activities performed by a lawyer or Advocate reflects the responsive behaviour.
This type of skill and quality is appreciated not only by the client(s) but the Hon’ble Judge(s) as well. This trait, skill, and quality also appreciates in value of a particular lawyer or advocate and increase its demand at the marketplace.
Apart from professionalism and ethics, a lawyer or Advocate must possess a balance of emotional trait, and this should be a part of his personality. So as to ensure the performance made by him in a Court of Law, he could be able to attach the variety of events in the case of his client so as to drive and explain the happenings of the event(s) to the Hon’ble judges.
It is very much important to have an emotional balance, which will help in the client’s case as a whole.
Although, it is said to be a lawyer or Advocate’s desk should be a messy one; but on the other side, it is demanded in the character of a lawyer or advocate to be and stay organized. He should always be well versed with the cases he indulged in, the case files, the main theme, and the subject matter of the case he pursued.
It is another attitude pursued by a lawyer or Advocate, to be and stay organized, keeping a routine check over all his belongings in a stipulated time, regularly.
It’s a saying; A Good Listener is a Good Speaker, that’s why, a lawyer or Advocate must be patient enough to listen to the client, the opposing counsel, the Hon’ble Judge(s), the members of the jury, and the people involved in a particular case. As this is a skill that a good lawyer or Advocate must be well versed with, and it should be a part of his personality.
Code of conduct for lawyers or advocates in India
Code of Professional Ethics in the Legal Industry is the sum of adopted key principles for the lawyer or advocates and their code of conduct. These principles are of obligatory nature and lawyers or advocates must act and perform in its accordance.
Some of the general provisions are discussed below:
Lawyer or Advocate, being an individual and independent personality, he should not be driven by third-party influence or even his personal interest harms his client’s interest and shall act in a manner that serves his client(s) need in the best possible manner or degrade his standing at the Bar.
Confidence, need time to be built, it is one part of the client to have and moreover on his lawyer or advocate to build confidence, and this should only be done and visible if the lawyer or Advocate maintains the dignity, integrity, and honour of this Noble profession.
Law, is a noble profession and thou shalt never solicit; this is the learning my mentor gave me. It is the profession of utmost respect, treating every man equal and providing services to the underprivileged and indigenous people, which is our duty as a lawyer or advocate towards the society and it is a matter of honour and great pleasure.
And some other code of conduct or the specified duties that a lawyer or Advocate must not forget, and must act, perform in accordance and in compliance with the general principles of professional and work ethics of the Bar:
A. Duties towards the Court
- A lawyer or Advocate should be straight forward, and his arguments should be pointed clear and precise.
- A lawyer or Advocate should have a sense of honour and pleasing manners in his arguments.
- A lawyer or Advocate must be tactful in presenting the matter.
- A lawyer or Advocate should not mislead the Court.
- A lawyer or Advocate should not influence the decision of the Court by any illegal or improper means.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall appear in the Court at all times only in the prescribed dress. He shall not wear a band or the gown in the public place(s) other than a Court.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall consider when presenting the case and while otherwise acting before a Court, conduct himself with dignity and self-respect.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall not enter an appearance, plead or practice in any way before a Court, Tribunal or Authority on behalf of kith and kin.
- A lawyer or Advocate should not criticize the judiciary with malice.
- A lawyer or Advocate should not act or plead in any matter in which he has some pecuniary interest.
B. Duties towards the Client
- A lawyer or Advocate shall fearlessly uphold the interest of his client by all fair and honourable means without regard to unpleasant consequences to himself or any other.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall fairly and reasonably submit the case on behalf of his client.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall pay attention which he is capable of giving to the case he is dealing with.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall not act on the instructions of any person other than his client or his authorized agent.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall not ordinarily withdraw from engagements ones accepted, without sufficient cause and unless reasonable and sufficient notice given to a client.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall not do anything whereby abuses or takes advantage of the confidence reposed in him by his client.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall not accept a fee less than the fee taxable under the rules when the client is able to pay the same.
- A lawyer shall not adjust the fee payable to him by his client against his own personal liberty to the client where liability does not arise in the course of his employment as an Advocate.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall keep the accounts of its client’s money entrusted to him.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall not disclose communications made to them in the course of their professional engagement(s) even after the case is over.
C. Duties towards Opponent
- A lawyer or Advocate shall not communicate or negotiate upon the subject matter of controversy with any party represented by an Advocate except through that Advocate.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall not mislead an opponent, or put him on the wrong way regarding any point in the case.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall do his best to carry out all legitimate promises made to the opposite party even though not reduced to writing.
D. Duties towards the Society
- A lawyer or Advocate shall establish Legal Aid Societies for the purpose of rendering legal assistance to poor, underprivileged and indigenous person(s).
- A lawyer or Advocate shall help the people, local bodies such as Panchayat in villages to function on sound lines, so that the people may discharge their functions in an enlightened and responsible manner.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall provide legal education to the illiterate and working people by informing them for the rights and legal provisions in simple language.
- A lawyer or Advocate shall work with social welfare committees to promote social order in which Political, Economic and Social Justice will be assured to all.
Students of Lawsikho courses regularly produce writing assignments and work on practical exercises as a part of their coursework and develop themselves in real-life practical skill.