Finding a great lawyer should be your top priority if you’re having legal troubles and need expert advice to resolve these issues. Lawyers are highly knowledgeable professionals that have expertise in specific areas of the law.
Depending on the legal issues that you’re dealing with, you’ll need a certain type of lawyer. For example, if you want to file a personal injury claim after an accident at work, a personal injury attorney at Lamber Goodnow can help you. If you’re filing a claim against another driver after a car accident, you’ll need an auto accident attorney.
As simple as it sounds, finding a suitable lawyer isn’t always easy. If you’re struggling to know where to start when you need to hire a lawyer, keep reading. We’re going to cover some of the most important qualities that every great lawyer possesses.
What Qualities Make a Lawyer Great?
All successful practicing lawyers display a number of personal and professional qualities. You should keep your eyes out for these qualities during your research so you can find the most suitable lawyer for your needs.
Of course, every lawyer should have the necessary qualifications and licenses to practice legally. However, they should also possess additional qualities and characteristics that contribute to their success.
Here are seven key qualities that make a lawyer great at what they do.
1. Having the necessary qualifications to practice as a lawyer
To qualify as a lawyer in the United States, an individual needs to complete several years of training at law school. During their time at law school, trainee lawyers also have to complete multiple placements where they can gain real-life experience working with real clients.
Professional qualifications are an absolute must when you’re hiring a lawyer. Some lawyers list their qualifications and licenses on their website but if not, be sure to request a list of their qualifications.
In the USA, future lawyers must complete the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to enter law school. Once they have been accepted into a law degree, they need to pass all of their exams (known as bar exams) to receive a Bachelor’s degree in law.
2. Possessing the relevant licenses to legally practice
Alongside checking the qualifications of a potential attorney, you should also check which licenses they hold. To legally practice in the United States (and in most other countries), a lawyer needs to be approved for certain licenses and permits.
The exact licenses that are required vary by state. You can find the rules of your state with a quick online search and you can use this information to identify whether or not a lawyer is properly licensed for the practice.
3. Great communication skills
When you’re dealing with a complex legal case, your lawyer needs to know how to communicate legal jargon in simple terms that you can understand as a layperson.
A great lawyer should also stay in regular contact with you as a client and keep you well-informed of the latest updates in your case. They must also know how to adapt their communication style to liaise with other professionals and witnesses.
4. A high level of professionalism
For obvious reasons, every lawyer should be professional at all times. Generally, lawyers need to wear suits or formal dresses. They should be well-kept and smart at all times. But a lawyer’s professionalism doesn’t stop at their appearance. It includes their behavior.
Lawyers need to find a way to gain your trust and make you feel comfortable as a client while also maintaining their professional boundaries. This is harder than it sounds and if you find a lawyer that has found this balance, you’ve probably found a good one!
A great attorney should remain unbiased and non-judgemental while going through the details of your case, gathering evidence, or interviewing witnesses. They should never disclose these details to people outside of the legal team that is dealing with your case.
To remain professional, lawyers must follow a legal code of conduct. Failing to uphold their legal responsibilities is not only unprofessional but also against the law.
5. Excellent organizational skills
When dealing with complex cases where there are lots of intricate details of several different people involved, your lawyer needs to stay on top of things. Just one small error or missed detail could cause you to lose your case in court and miss out on compensation or justice.
A highly organized lawyer is much more likely to win their clients’ cases and vice versa. They should be able to stay on top of their calendar and have an organized system to file their paperwork, so no important evidence gets lost.
6. Great track record of successful cases
A lawyer that is good at what they do will have a track record to prove it. They will possess an extensive portfolio of successful wins to display how they’ve been able to help a variety of clients in the past.
When you’re searching for a great lawyer, no matter what your legal issue is, you should always gather details about their previous cases. Identify their success rate (their total number of wins divided by their total number of cases) and check whether they have dealt with similar cases to yours in the past.
If you can’t find any details about a lawyer’s previous cases on their website, you can request this information from their secretary or the lawyer themselves.
7. Honesty and transparency
Being open and transparent is an essential quality for every lawyer. This means being honest about fees and expectations when you first hire them. It also means being transparent and realistic about whether or not you are likely to win your case.
Your lawyer should be optimistic without being unrealistic. They should never give you a sense of false hope if they don’t think your case will be successful. This is a fine balance that only the best lawyers get right!