What does it take to become the best trial lawyer?
While there truly is no “best trial lawyer,” there certainly are great ones and some who simply don’t have as great a winning record. Gerry Spence, for example, is one of the most successful trial lawyers of all time.
I was wondering what skills are most critical for a great personal injury lawyer. So I compiled a list of ten things I think are very important for a great personal injury lawyer (who also is considered a trial lawyer).
Here is a personal list of the top 10 skills I think a trial lawyer needs to become what some might consider to be a “best injury lawyer” or “top” injury lawyer:
- Legal knowledge: A trial lawyer must have a thorough understanding of the law, including substantive and procedural law, evidence, and legal strategy.
- Case analysis: A trial lawyer must be able to analyze the facts of a case, identify the legal issues, and develop a winning strategy.
- Communication skills: A trial lawyer must be an effective communicator, both in writing and in oral arguments, and be able to explain complex legal concepts in a clear and concise manner.
- Negotiation skills: A trial lawyer must be able to negotiate effectively with opposing counsel and with judges, and be able to reach settlements that are in the best interests of their clients.
- Courtroom demeanor: A trial lawyer must have a professional and confident demeanor in the courtroom, and be able to project authority and credibility to judges and juries.
- Cross-examination skills: A trial lawyer must be able to conduct effective cross-examinations of witnesses, and be able to elicit the information they need to support their case.
- Jury selection: A trial lawyer must be skilled at selecting a jury that is likely to be favorable to their client, and be able to use the voir dire process to identify potential biases and prejudices.
- Organization and time management: A trial lawyer must be able to manage a large volume of information and deadlines, and be able to prioritize tasks effectively to ensure that everything is completed in a timely manner.
- Creative problem-solving: A trial lawyer must be able to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to legal problems that arise during a trial.
- Emotional intelligence: A trial lawyer must be able to read and respond to the emotions of judges, juries, witnesses, and clients, and be able to manage their own emotions effectively in order to remain calm and focused under pressure.
It’s also important that the lawyer you hire doesn’t just dabble in personal injury law. In my experience, the lawyer you hire should focus mainly on plaintiffs personal injury cases. This kind of dedicated experience means the lawyer has dealt with easy and complex cases and should be equipped to handle a case like yours, or at least know enough to refer you to a lawyer competent in the area of personal injury law that applies to your case.