Considering law school? Here are 10 signs you would make a good lawyer.
One. You love to argue. Not the occasional tussle. But day in and day out, you want to argue about everything, from what to eat for dinner to the right amount of detergent you should use for a wash. Love of argument is the first sign you would make a good lawyer. Lawyers argue constantly. With their adversaries, with the courts, with insurance companies, even with their own clients. Practicing law is by its very nature adversarial, so if you love to argue, the legal field may very well be for you.
Two. You love to write. If you love to write – and you are good at it – you may want to consider becoming a lawyer. Lawyers draft briefs, contracts, motions, pleadings, and hundreds of letters every year. Writing is a large part of practicing law. If you love to write, it might just be a sign you would make a good lawyer.
Three. You are a workaholic. Many lawyers are workaholics. Indeed, some of the best attorneys work seventy or eighty hours a week. If you are a workaholic, it may be a sign you would make a good lawyer. In order to be successful in the law, you will most likely have to make sacrifices. Among those sacrifices will be your time. If you enjoy burning the midnight oil, consider the field of law.
Four. You are a good negotiator. Lawyers negotiate on a daily basis. Whether you are a sports lawyer negotiating contracts for professional athletes, or a personal injury lawyer negotiating settlements for injured clients, or a criminal defense attorney negotiating plea bargains, you had better be good at what you do.
Five. You are good at persuasion. This is essential if you want to become a litigator. Motion practice and trial work is all about persuading people to your side of the argument. Whether you are persuading a judge or a jury, it takes a great amount of skill and practice.
Six. You have a thick skin. Beware of irate judges, angry clients, and vicious adversaries. You will take a fair share of abuse. If you have a thick skin, you have a better chance at making a good lawyer.
Seven. You are good at balancing your time. This is essential. As a lawyer, you will need to balance your time between paperwork and courtroom appearances, between telephone calls and face time with clients and colleagues. Not to mention your family life.
Eight. You are persistent. You simply must be persistent as a lawyer. You will not get your way the first time around. You will need to write letter after letter, draft motion after motion, in order to succeed for your clients.
Nine. You are patient. Practicing law involves a lot of waiting around. Waiting around courthouses for your case to be called. Waiting around for decisions on appeals to be handed down. You simply must be patient, or you will grow old before your time.
Ten. You must be aggressive. You must be a pit bull. In the law, poodles need not apply. No client wants a lawyer who is a pushover, or a lawyer who waits for things to happen. Clients want lawyers who are hungry and unafraid of a fight. They want a lawyer who is aggressive.