Daniel DeKoter looks at the “unofficial” skills for a successful career as an attorney

It doesn’t matter whether you are based in Iowa or the Osceola County, the demand for attorneys is always going to be high and thankfully, so are the pay packets.

However, something that a lot of potential attorneys struggle with is the fact that it’s only the “official” pathways that are published. In other words, it’s very much common knowledge on how to become an attorney; and how you must complete a bachelor’s degree, find a law school and pass the exam. In relation to the attributes that you need to help you along your way as a qualified professional in this industry, not much exists.

Again, your discipline doesn’t matter here. You might be representing the residents of Osceola County one day, but defending someone who is attempting to clear their name in criminal law the next. Regardless of what area of law you are looking to venture into, Daniel DeKoter has today revealed the characteristics that you really should possess in an effort to make a success as an attorney.

The powers of commercial awareness

Far too often, and this is true from an educational point of view at least, students of law have their heads in textbooks. In some ways, this of course shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, this is what contains that elusive case law, as well as the regulations that they need to know off by heart.

As soon as they get into their practice of choice, real life starts to kick in though. Legal practices need to earn money, and those attorneys that understand commercial awareness are worth their weight in gold. This awareness might be from a general point of view, in terms of knowing the current financial landscape, or might go more granular and allow them to make decisions on what cases to take on.

Communication is a universal characteristic

Little needs to be said about this point, other than the fact that communication is crucial in pretty much all industries and law is no different.

You will need impeccable oral and written skills, with the latter related to all of the legal letters that you will be sending to stakeholders. As you will also meet with clients, you should be prepared to listen – even if they might be saying something that you completely disagree with in relation to their case.

The best until last: time management

During your early career as an attorney, it’s hard work. Case after case will be passed onto you, and the initial salary might make you question whether or not this is really the career you want to progress in.

This is where your time management skills really can take you to the next level. If you can demonstrate proficiency in all the cases you are given to work on, you will prove to your superiors that you are able to handle large workloads, and can ultimately progress to those bigger cases (that also return bigger pay checks)

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