The effectiveness of your attorney can have a positive or negative impact on your life. Consequently, it is imperative that you hire not only a skilled attorney but one who possess characteristics that are admired by both clients and colleagues. What are the top qualities admired by clients? Below is a summary of some of those traits that are held highest:
Passion: An effective attorney must have passion for their career and their clients. The legal field is difficult, complicated and stressful. As such, it is not a field everyone is cut-out for. To be effective – you must love what you do and have a deep desire to represent your clients to the best of your ability.
Compassion: Empathy, kindness and care need to be demonstrated by an attorney. After all, the reason you hired an attorney most likely revolves around a life changing event, serious injury, death or other legal matter. A well-thought-of attorney not only represents their clients but genuinely wants to make their lives just a little bit better.
Communication: Communication is a fundamental aspect of being an attorney. To have an impact, an attorney must be able to communicate with a multitude of individuals in very different capacities. This includes their clients, counsel, and the courts. In order to represent your client well, an attorney must be eloquently convey their position.
Ability to Listen: While mastering the art of communication, an attorney must also listen. In fact, they must not just listen but they need to truly hear and digest what is being said to them. Whether a client is trying to convey an important fact, counsel is wanting to express a solution, or the Judge is speaking – your attorney must possess the skill of listening attentively. Listening can win and lose cases.
Knowledge: Of course an attorney must be knowledgeable in the area in which you are seeking advice. A successful attorney will specialize in the subject areas they are experienced in and refer out matters they do not practice in. Given the vast areas of law, no attorney can be knowledgeable and proficient in all of them. Attorneys with experience in the field you have retained them for will know the nuisances of practicing in that particular area.
Good Writers: Attorneys must possess strong writing skills – a quality which is required in nearly all areas of law that attorneys practice in. After all, attorneys will spend far more time behind a desk than participating in oral argument. Expressing thoughts on paper and submitting well thought-out, clear and concise documentation is essential.
Judgment: Attorneys need to have strong and sound judgment. Clients have full say and ultimate authority when it comes to their case. This may include agreeing to the terms of a settlement, accepting or rejecting a plea deal or agreeing to the terms of a contract or a Will. Although the client has final say, they will seek the advice of their attorney. It is the attorney’s responsibility to make sure the client understands what their choices are and the impact of those choices – both positive and negative.