6 Tips For Becoming a Successful Lawyer | To become successful in your chosen career, you need to put the work in, whether you want to become a lawyer or an electrician or anything in between. Here are six tips for becoming a successful lawyer.
1. Develop Your Negotiation and Debate Skills
Lawyers must be able to negotiate and debate. While courtroom scenes in the media play up the drama of presenting evidence and questioning witnesses, the reality is that plenty of work is done behind the scenes between attorneys alongside and on behalf of their respective clients. Divorce lawyers may negotiate allocations of property and lawsuits may be negotiated by many types of attorneys, for example. Attorneys also need to hone their debate skills, making sure they’re able to formulate arguments based on evidence and determine potential rebuttals to their arguments.
2. Network With Other Law Professionals
Networking is an essential practice for building connections in all industries. Law professionals aren’t a monolithic group; there are many careers associated with practicing law. You should try to build a network of people you may interact with in all aspects of your law career. For example, if you plan to practice in Oregon, try to develop a network around that state, including court reporters Bend, paralegals in Eugene, and attorneys in Astoria practicing the same type of law you’re interested in, among others.
3. Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms For Stress
Practicing law can be a particularly stressful career choice, so it’s essential that you develop healthy coping mechanisms to help you deal with daily stressors. Try to get research, writing and other case management activities done in a timely manner. Try not to let your work become the center of your world. Your services are important to your clients, but you shouldn’t allow it to consume your physical or mental health. Find ways to practice emotional balance and patience, such as meditation, exercise and hobbies. Let yourself take breaks when you need them. If you try to keep going when you’re not feeling well, your work will likely suffer.
4. Focus On the Fundamentals
When a lawyer is beginning his or her career, he or she must focus on the fundamentals of the practice. While you’re in law school, tailor as much of your coursework and study materials to your chosen area of expertise as possible. If you join a pre-existing practice, you should learn how the practice operates and how to manage your caseload and client communications. If you practice on your own, make sure you’re fully capable of operating the business side of things, too. Throughout your career, keep the fundamentals in focus, as they will be the bedrock of your successful practice.
5. Develop Your Research and Writing Skills
Much of the practice of law is about researching and writing. You need to understand all the details of the case and, depending on the type of law you’re practicing and the specific case, you may need to figure out various personal, professional, expert and eyewitnesses. Then, you need to script your arguments and statements for your appearance in court or at negotiations. Try to read voraciously and widely, both fiction and nonfiction. Statements and arguments in a court of law are storytelling, so studying what makes stories believable, sympathetic, informative and emotionally resonant will be a big help to lawyers learning to craft narratives.
6. Be Organized
Organization is a key skill for an attorney. You may have several cases open at any given time, so you need to label and store each case’s materials properly, keep clients’ contact information safe and practice good time management. Make sure you have time throughout your day to meet or speak with clients, go to the courtroom and do paperwork or research. Being organized can also factor into lessening any job-related stress.
These are only some tips for becoming a successful lawyer. You should incorporate these into your lifestyle and prepwork, along with other strategies for advancing your studies, such as reading, attending your law school classes and seeking experience.