The profession of legal practice is one of the most highly regarded occupations in the world. The job description of a lawyer includes representing his/her clients in a court of law, in a particular case. In India, an individual can become a lawyer after clearing the All India Bar Examinations.
The job of a lawyer is a particularly skilful one since it requires extensive knowledge of the laws and legal procedures and systems. As doctors are responsible for saving lives by operating on patients, lawyers are responsible for defending the innocent and helping them get their rights. It is the lawyers who show the judges the path of justice, by presenting their case in a meticulous and truthful manner.
Importance of having good lawyers
The judiciary is the upholder of justice and truth in any nation. This, in itself, is dependent on the type of lawyers and judges serving the judicial system. Lawyers are responsible for the fate of their clients. A good lawyer is, therefore, essential to uphold the integrity of the legal system.
To effectively make use of the laws in place and to ensure that justice is served in the shortest time possible, lawyers should have certain good qualities.
Qualities of a good lawyer:
There are certain qualities that every good lawyer should possess to excel in his/her practice of law and thereby enabling speedy justice to all required. Some of these qualities are inculcated in law school itself through the inclusion of a comprehensive curriculum, whereas other qualities have to be cultivated through practice and devotion.
One of the most obvious qualities of a good lawyer is good speech and oration. As a lawyer, it is part of one’s job description to present a case orally in front of a judge in a court of law, Eloquence of speech thus forms an indispensable aspect of becoming a lawyer. It is useful not only in case of arguing a matter but also for communication with the client and negotiation a deal with the opposing party and counsel.
A good lawyer needs to possess excellent drafting skills. A lawyer should be able to articulate the matter appropriately, represent his/her client’s stance, and draft notices expressly outlining the reasons. The logic outlined in his/her draft needs to be coherent. This drafting skill is needed to complement the oration skills of the lawyer. In the practice of law, drafting is as much important as speech.
For a lawyer to present and win a case, it is essential that he/she knows how to do his/her research regarding the matters in the case. Research forms an integral part of one’s argument. A lawyer may be a great orator or a drafter, but without research, it is impossible to win a case. Legal research may include citation of authorities, referral to precedents, or application of legislation to the issue at hand.
Logical and Analytical Thinking:
Logic forms the basis of any argument. So, the quality of logical and rational thinking, along with the ability to aptly analyze a situation, is present in a good lawyer. To connect the dots in a case and to form arguments in favour of his/her client, logic becomes an irreplaceable part of any legal argument.
Another relevant skill that a lawyer should possess is confidence. A lawyer should appear confident while presenting a case and talking to a client. Confidence not only reassures the clients about the status of their case but also makes the arguments presented by the lawyer to be much more compelling.
A good lawyer should be able to empathize with his/her clients. From empathy stems reliability. If a lawyer does not empathize with the plight of the clients, he/she will never get the client to rely upon him/her. Empathy is an essential quality for lawyers because, without it, the judicial machine will be reduced to a platform for money making solely.
A lawyer should be creative in his/her arguments for a case. Creativity is required not only for solving cases and identifying arguments but also for finding solutions to a potential problem. Thinking outside the box is an important means by which a lawyer can serve his/her client’s interests.
Communication is an important aspect of the profession of law. A lawyer should have good communication and great interpersonal skills. Communication forms the crux of legal practice. A lawyer should be capable of successfully communicating with the judge and his/her fellow colleagues. She/he should also be adept at maintaining liaison with the clients. Being able to network is also an important skill that a lawyer should obtain.
As a lawyer, it is important that one is skilled at speaking, but it is also essential that one listens. Listening is intricately associated with the job description of a lawyer. A lawyer should be a patient listener. It is the inability to listen to his/her clients or opponents that cause lawyers to lose even the strongest of cases.
A lawyer should be assertive and not aggressive. The primary difference between the two codes of conduct lies in the manner in which they are carried out. An aggressive lawyer disregards other’s opinions to put his judgment on top, whereas an assertive lawyer makes sure that he/she is heard and his/her opinions valued.
Apart from all the qualities listed above, there are other qualities that an individual engaged in the practice of law should have. Hard work, dedication, and perseverance are tenants of any work field, and these qualities are equally desired in case of legal practice. A lawyer should also be meticulous in his/her work and should have an eye for details. Other qualities that are essential for lawyers include the ability to separate one’s own judgment from that of the case. It is also the duty of a lawyer to stick to the ethical means of the trade.