What Makes a Good Lawyer? 7 Essential Qualities

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Apr 11, 2019

Apr 11, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

In 2018, there were 1,338,678 active lawyers in the United States.

Do you want to join their ranks? First, you need to find out what makes a good lawyer. Read on for our list of 7 qualities of a good lawyer.

1. Analytical Skills

One of the most important qualities of a good lawyer is to be able to sift through large amounts of information.

The main part of the work of a lawyer is reading. These include memos, briefs, legal journals, court transcripts and of course the legal documents.

Often, there are multiple conclusions you might draw from this information. Analytical skills are vital to help lawyers decide which conclusion to land on.

2. A Back Bone

The legal world can be a cut-throat environment. Depending on the type of law you decide to practice, you could spend your days going toe to toe with another lawyer.

Though they don't teach you how to stick to your guns in law school, it's one of the most vital characteristics of a lawyer.

If you have a strong personality and don't let people push you around, that's good. Otherwise, you could spend your time being railroaded by other attorneys.

But don't give up. There are plenty of other legal careers you can choose from. 

3. Creativity 

Creativity is not a trait many people associate with lawyers. But attorneys need to constantly come up with creative solutions to big problems.

Thinking outside the box is a must if you want to be a good lawyer. It's this characteristic that helps lawyers find loop-holes, alternative, and solutions that might not have been obvious.

4. Decisiveness

The legal world can move at a break-neck pace. Attorneys are often put in situations where they need to make a judgment call right then and there.

The confidence to make a call and stick to it is one of the top qualities of a lawyer. Check out this blog to get a sense of when people need to hire a lawyer.

5. Logical Thinking

Logical thinking is not the same as analytical skills, though they go hand in hand.

Analytical skills help lawyers process the mountain of paperwork they have to read. Logical thinking skills enable them to go from A to B and arrive at C.

If you've ever asked yourself, "would I make a good lawyer?" think about your logical thinking skills. Can you take out emotion and think through a situation to arrive at a reasonable conclusion?

If so, you may have what it takes to become a lawyer. 

6. Perseverance

Something the TV shows and movies don't show is how much work lawyers put in to arrive at the "aha" moment.

A lawyer will put in countless hours of research and face many dead ends in each case they work on. Sometimes, all that work is for nothing when a case is dropped or settled.

Other times, you will lose despite your best efforts. Perseverance is a necessary quality of a good lawyer. That drive will help you give your work everything you've got, no matter what happens. 

7. Research Skill

Good lawyers are always good researchers. It's not all about being a great orator in a courtroom.

The courtroom moments are just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the true work happens beforehand as attorneys build their cases.

Preparing legal strategies takes a ton of research. Gathing the right information and knowing where to look is one of the top qualities of a lawyer.

Final Thoughts on What Makes a Good Lawyer

There you have it. A list of the top 7 qualities that all good lawyers possess. We hope you now have a better understanding of what makes a good lawyer.

If you're sold on being a criminal defense lawyer, check out this complete guide