How to Become a Better Lawyer
Jessica Mahoney is a professional writer with work published on several
websites. She specializes in cooking, planning parties, crafts, decorating,
travel, home repair and gardening. Mahoney studied English literature,
Russian and education at West Virginia University.
By Jessica Mahoney, eHow Contributor
[image: How to Become a Better Lawyerthumbnail]No matter how long you have
been practicing, there are always ways to become a better lawyer.
Lawyers sometimes work in litigation and present cases in courtrooms, while
others stay in the office, where they interpret and prepare legal
documents. Lawyers work in family law, civil law, criminal law,
entertainment law and a wide range of other specialties. Whatever your
specialty or experience level, there are always opportunities to expand
your knowledge and become a better lawyer.
- 1 Become a good teacher. You don't have to be a law professor to
pass on your knowledge of the law. You can teach by imparting your
experience to your colleagues or mentoring a young lawyer. Teaching
requires mastery of a subject, so you will be forced to expand your
knowledge in order to answer your students' questions. You also have to
explain concepts to your students, which will force you to examine your own
- 2 Learn from others. Use every opportunity to expand your
knowledge and understanding of the law. You can collaborate on cases with
your colleagues or observe the tactics of your opponents in a courtroom.
Others in your field may be able to present to you new ideas and tactics to
enhance your current strategies.
- 3 Sign up for Continuing Legal Education classes and attend law
conferences. These will help you to adapt to innovations within your field,
which will in turn keep your strategies fresh. This is a great way to
expand your network of colleagues and get to know different generations of
lawyers who may be able to share new ideas with you.
- 4 Improve your public speaking and communication skills.
Communication is a huge part of success as a lawyer. By learning how to
articulate your thoughts clearly and intelligently, you will make yourself
appear more professional and confident. One great way to work on your
speaking skills is to take a speech or acting class, which will force you
to think and act quickly, both valuable assets in the courtroom.
- 5 Provide pro bono counsel to expand your clientele and increase
your reputation. The idea of working for free may not seem appealing, but
you will improve your esteem within the community and gain practice in a
branch of law that you might not be comfortable with. Pro bono work will
allow you to meet people you wouldn't ordinarily see and teach you about
compassion and community service. You may not receive a paycheck, but you
will help someone in need and feel better about yourself.
- 6 Maintain a consistency of style in your legal practice. While
arguing a case in the courtroom, do so in a way that seems natural and
comfortable to you. Using methods outside your comfort zone will increase
the likelihood that you will stumble on your words or become lost in your
argument. Consistency also extends to the way that you run your practice.
Take only cases that you are comfortable handling, rather than trying to
adapt your practice to fit every need within the community. Sometimes it is
better to be a master of one type of case than to be mediocre in several
Tips & Warnings
- In addition to taking a Continuing Legal Education class, offering to
teach one is a great way to improve your esteem among your colleagues and
increase your own confidence as a lawyer.
- Taking on cases that you don't believe in, regardless of the potential
income, puts yourself at risk of compromising your ethics and morals
*Edited by: Lawyer Asad*