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Want to practise law and wondering what makes a good lawyer? This page details the key skills you need to pursue a legal career – from critical thinking to managing high stress situations.

What Makes a Good Lawyer – Skills

So, what makes a good lawyer? The practice of law requires you to demonstrate a number of core skills and attributes. The skills you will be expected to develop to successfully practice law are varied.

They range from communication skills (the ability to think logically and formulate arguments on paper and verbally) to people skills (working well in a team and the ability to form a relationship with your clients). If you’re considering a career in law, you must be able to:

  • Break down, analyse and articulate complex issues both orally and in writing
  • Work effectively in a team
  • Think logically
  • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
  • Think creatively outside the box
  • Solve complex problems
  • Think and work under pressure
  • Speak confidently in public
  • Fight your corner
  • Have a keen eye for detail
  • Manage high stress situations
  • Research complex issues
  • Demonstrate academic excellence
  • Demonstrate solid commercial awareness

What Makes a Good Lawyer – Attributes

As well as being able to demonstrate the skills set out above, it will greatly help if you are:

  • Organised
  • Resilient
  • Thorough
  • Confident in your own abilities
  • Methodical
  • Sociable
  • Committed
  • Adaptable
  • Hardworking

What Makes a Good Lawyer – Demonstrating Your Skills

By way of reassurance, these are not the sort of skills and attributes that develop overnight! They come with time and experience. So whether you’re studying law or have 20 years of legal experience, you will continue to fine-tune these skills throughout your entire legal career. That being said, when applying for:

you will be expected to demonstrate in your application forms, CV and at interview that you possess at least some of these skills and attributes.

Tip: Start to think about real life examples of when you have used these skills and attributes to work your way through a problem or situation. These examples could come from a range of places, including a:

  • Part-time job
  • Legal work experience
  • Non-legal work experience
  • Academic studies
  • Social or sporting situations

Being able to back up your skills set and attributes with things that you have done and achieved will really help to reinforce your point.

You might also want to check out some of the more specific skills needed to be a:

Want to find out if you’d make a good lawyer? Take our quiz!

Would I Make a Good Lawyer?

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