How to Become a Successful Civil Litigation Attorney -- The Skills Civil Litigation Attorneys Need for a Successful Legal Career

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How to Become a Successful Civil Litigation Attorney -- The Skills Civil Litigation Attorneys Need for a Successful Legal Career

<<Civil litigation attorneys are in the unique position to change the law and thus society, according to Frank H. Wu of Howard University Law School. He recommends learning procedure and honing your writing skills. Robert A. Clifford of Clifford Law Offices enjoys the job aspect of jury persuasion and recommends understanding legal precedents. Most civil litigation attorneys agree that the job is challenging, requiring long hours, excellent writing skills, and keen attention to detail. However, there are other qualities that can help make a good civil litigation attorney great.

Essential Skills of a Civil Litigation Attorney

Nicholas Deleault, of the Law Firm of Goldstein and Clegg, has ezinearticles.com/ on not only civil litigation but also other areas of law. His article, "The Ten Essential Qualities of a Civil Litigation Attorney," outlines the various skills required to be a successful civil litigation attorney. These guidelines will help you improve your marketability in the job market.

Civil Litigation Attorneys Must Know the Rules of Evidence

Most civil cases involve the admissibility or inadmissibility of a piece of evidence. You already have a proper understanding of the rules of evidence, but you should also know how and when to object and how to answer an objection (failure to do so can cost your client the case). Opposing attorneys who have mastered objections can use them to inhibit your abilities in admitting important evidence. Don't be the civil litigation attorney with the short end of the stick. Learn the rules of evidence so you can better focus on the facts of the case. Once you know the ins and outs of rules and procedure, you can analyze the case in depth. Kim J. Askew, partner at Hughes & Luce, LLP, advises that "cases need to be carefully planned and analyzed. Strong analysis permits the resolution of many cases long before the courtroom."

Civil Litigation Attorneys Must Have Good Interpersonal Skills

D. Christopher Daniel of Simmons Law Group, P.A., recommends that civil litigation attorneys master "the ability to relate and communicate with people of all walks of life." You spend the day talking and meeting with various individuals, and you'll need to communicate and get along with judges, other attorneys, clients, witnesses, legal staff, and colleagues. To do so appropriately, you'll need to master different types of interpersonal skills for each relationship. A professional approach will work with colleagues and attorneys, while a more personal approach will work with clients and witnesses. You'll need interpersonal skills to increase your client base and have strong working relationships.

Civil Litigation Attorneys Must Have Good Negotiation Skills

The superior negotiation skills of a civil litigation attorney will help inside and outside the court. If you are willing to take a case to trial, and have the skills and knowledge to win, the defendant might initiate the negotiation process and try to settle out of court. Your negotiation skills will help you get your client the best deal. Whatever your style of negotiation, from aggressive to congenial, negotiating in good faith will help you in your future cases.

Civil Litigation Attorneys Must Have Experience, Experience, Experience

Karen E. Kahle of Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, has just one piece of advice: "In litigation, there is no substitute for experience." She recommends getting as much trial experience as possible. Being in the courtroom will help you hone your self-confidence as well as your writing and speaking skills.

Civil Litigation Attorneys Must Be Able to Communicate Clearly

Communication is perhaps the most important skill to master. When it comes down to it, the successful civil litigation attorney is able to effectively communicate his or her theory of the law to the decision maker — be it the judge or jury. Communication can win or lose a case. You have to understand who you are communicating with and what the purpose of your communication is. Vickie E. Turner, partner at Wilson Petty Kosmo & Turner, believes that "keen negotiation skills and an ability to effectively communicate complicated concepts to jurors" are the core skills you need to become a successful civil litigation attorney.

Learn More about Being a Civil Litigation Attorney

There's always room for improvement, and if you're career will benefit from further training, then why not continually enhance your skills? I've learned that simply talking to others about their experiences has helped me gain insight into the job market, job hunting, and career enhancement. Read about one attorney's journey into the litigation world, and maybe you can learn some tips on enhancing your career.

Please see this article to find out if litigation is right for you: Why Most Attorneys Have No Business Being Litigators: Fifteen Reasons Why You Should Not Be a Litigator

Howard University School of Law


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