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What Makes a Good Lawyer?

With so many to choose from, distinguishing a good lawyer from the rest can be complicated and overwhelming. While technical legal expertise is a given, the traits that elevate a lawyer to greatness extend beyond their knowledge of case law. So, in a field crowded with competent professionals, what specific qualities set the exceptional ones apart?

5 Traits to Look for in an Attorney

Every attorney is different. However, despite their unique experiences and personalities, there are several specific traits that you’ll want to be on the lookout for when hiring. Let’s take a look at the most important ones:

  • Ethics and Integrity

Unfortunately, there are some bad apples in the legal industry. This has cast a negative shadow on the attorneys who are out there doing good work. Don’t let your misguided opinion of attorneys pressure you into hiring someone questionable. Look for someone who has integrity.

A lawyer with high ethical standards and integrity can be found (and should be precisely who you look for). They do what's right, even when no one's watching. They’re honest with you about your case, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. This builds trust, and in the legal world, trust is everything. You want a lawyer who's respected not just by their clients, but by other lawyers and judges too. That respect can go a long way in helping your case.

  • Empathy

A good lawyer can put themselves in your shoes and understand what you’re going through. This isn't just about being nice – it's about making sure they fight for you as if they were fighting for themselves. When a lawyer cares about your case as much as you do, you'll know you've found someone you can trust.

  • Well-Rounded Experience

Becoming a lawyer is difficult. It’s hard, gritty work that requires several years of advanced education and training. However, just because someone is a lawyer doesn’t mean they’re as competent or qualified as the next attorney. 

Consider this: Who would you rather have – an attorney who just passed the bar exam last week or who has spent the past 25 years practicing law in your community? Almost everyone is going to go with an attorney who has more experience. 

But on top of experience, make sure you’re seeking out the right kind of experience. Lots of lawyers have experience, but not all attorneys have experience trying cases in court. This can be problematic, should you fail to reach a settlement and need to go to court. Attorneys like Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa work closely with their clients to ensure they’re prepared to settle or go to court, depending on how the case unfolds. This is the kind of attorney partnership you should look for.  

  • Problem-Solving Skills

Let's face it: legal issues can get messy and complicated…fast. A lawyer who is a quick thinker and can come up with creative solutions is someone you want on your side. They can navigate tricky situations and find the best path for your case, often seeing solutions where others might see dead ends. Keep your eyes open for these types of lawyers. 

  • Attention to Detail

One small mistake in a legal document can mean big trouble. Great lawyers are like detectives, paying close attention to every little piece of evidence, making sure nothing gets missed. Having an attorney with this sort of meticulous nature ensures that your case is as strong as it can possibly be. 

Finding the Right Attorney

You might know what to look for in an attorney, but how do you go about finding one? That’s another good question – one that ultimately comes down to how willing you are to be thorough and do your due diligence.

Hiring a good attorney can take time. You’ll need to do your research online, ask for referrals, and likely book consultations with at least two to three different lawyers to get a feel for what options are out there. Even then, you might not feel like you have someone who meets the traits we’ve discussed above – but be patient! 

This is not a decision you can afford to rush. Take your time and patiently wait until you find someone who checks all of these boxes. In the end, all of your hard work will be worth it.

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