Lawyers handle a variety of legal tasks for their clients. They might represent individuals accused of a crime, a corporation facing a civil lawsuit, or prepare wills for a recently married couple. Some lawyers choose to specialize in a particular area, such as tax law or bankruptcy. Successful lawyers possess certain skills, and the financial rewards for those with the right personal qualities can be substantial.
Lawyers need to possess good oral communication skills in order to be effective in the courtroom and make convincing arguments to judges and juries. They must have good written communication skills because they might have to write a variety of documents, including legal case studies. They must also be good listeners, able to follow complex testimony or to understand and analyze what clients tell them.
The ability to think critically is important for lawyers. They must be able to follow a chain of logic to identify potential trouble areas in their own arguments, and to spot weaknesses in the reasoning presented by their opposition or even their own clients. Lawyers must often exercise their judgment in deciding the best course of action to pursue.
Lawyers should be able to persuade clients to follow their advice or convince the opposition to negotiate a resolution. This requires the ability to read people and figure out the best approach to take when making your points. When presenting a case, lawyers must be able to read how jurors react to statements and testimony, and they need to read witnesses well enough to know whether the individual’s testimony is honest and unbiased.
Lawyers must absorb a great deal of information, both during law school and when preparing a case, then be able to organize and analyze the information in a logical manner. If more than one law or precedent applies to a situation, lawyers must evaluate which argument best advances their cause.
The mere act of becoming a lawyer requires a great deal of commitment. The typical path is a bachelor’s degree, followed by law school, which lasts three years. The lawyer must then pass the state bar exam before being allowed to practice law. Once they pass the bar and begins accepting cases, a lawyer often has to spend many hours preparing his case. They will spend a lot of time conducting research, preparing documents and interviewing witnesses. Lawyers need a willingness to invest the time needed to achieve a successful conclusion to the case.
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