This post covers everything you need to know about advocacy skills for lawyers
Advocacy skills for lawyers are the cornerstone of any successful attorney.
If you’re looking for the best ways to polish and improve your advocacy skills and become the best lawyer, you are in the right place.
Here I will share with you the basic elements of advocacy skills for lawyers and explain how you can achieve them.
Specifically, I will take you through
- what is advocacy skills
- Advocacy Skills for lawyers
- Preparation skills for lawyers
- Client Interview Skills for lawyers
- Persuasive Skills for lawyers
- Legal Drafting Skills for lawyers
- Presentation skills for lawyers
Jump to section
The Concept of Advocacy Skills for lawyers
Advocacy skills for lawyers can be referred to as the science of advocating, it is the capacity to defend or build a point in a manner that impresses the Judge and ultimately convinces the judge that your thinking and the conclusion are correct.
Advocacy entails an art of persuasion or convincing power and it entails an art of discovering and establishing the truth.
When I say an art of persuasion I generally mean trying to satisfy the decision-maker that the version of your story is true.
Advocacy is any action that speaks in favour of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others.thelawyerportal.com
Self Advocacy Skills for lawyers
The following are the must-have advocacy skills for lawyers and how to successfully achieve them
Preparation skills for lawyers
Preparation is a must thing when an advocate is dealing with a client, colleague, or court.
To successful archive preparation skills consider the following;
When it comes to the client have you be prepared from the beginning even before you meet the client.
This enables you to deal with your client by giving him the best service as far as his/her interests are concerned. Here you are required to determine the important interests of the client.
To give your best in preparation, make sure there is a conducive environment in your office or a venue so that the client feels comfortable when the interview takes place.
I advise you to make the most of the preparation yourself instead of delegating such activities to your secretaries who among them do not have advocacy skills.
Make sure you do extensive research to enable you to have ample knowledge on the particular subject of law otherwise, you should not accept the retention.
When it comes to court matters, you must prepare yourself adequately for the case.
The preparation involves the updating of the proceeding of the last session with a view to determining what is to be done in the coming session
Make sure you know the file.
Where necessary tell the client what you expect from the coming session.
Organize everything that you will need before going to court including authorities, evidence, and witnesses
Always expect the unexpected and avoid being taken by surprise.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”― Benjamin Franklin
Client Interview Skills for lawyers
This is the beginning of the lawyer-client relationship.
The interview enables you to extract from the client the relevant facts to be the basis of his issue.
Consider the following to archive the best interviewing skills.
- Have a pen and paper/notebook. Note important facts while listening to your client. Remember! noting indicates attention.
- When interviewing the client, give him/her enough time to explain the facts without being interrupted.
- You should be attentive in listening and always use familiar language with the client.
- When necessary, chip in with the view of better understanding and maintaining the chronological flow of the story.
- Ask questions, and seek clarifications when deems a doubt. It is through interview an advocate establishes the client’s interests which will form the basis of the persuasion of his case at the court of law.
- Utilize this session to know another side of the story so as to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the case.
- At the end of the interview explains the future steps that you will undertake to meet client needs.
- Make a client your friend.
- Always be smart and in proper attire
- Show the client that you know what you’re doing. Observe the ‘first impression is the best impression’ rule for new clients.
Persuasive Skills for lawyers
Persuasive Skills are the most important skill set for an advocate.
These skills differentiate one advocate from another. Persuasive skills differentiate the legal profession from other professions and it makes the legal profession valuable. To archive the best persuasive skills you must consider the following;
- Be aware of all relevant laws and always refresh your memory by equipping yourself with relevant information on the current trend of the law.
- Do research for authorities to backup your submission so as to help and persuade the court to enter a verdict in your favor
- Have a chronological flow of arguments.
- Use logic and an analogy to clarify your reasoning.
- Use proper language.
- Don’t complicate things. Use simple things that everyone can agree with.
- Show respect to the judge and your opponent.
- Be active and use a tone of authority.
Legal Drafting Skills for lawyers
Legal drafting entails the ability of an advocate to prepare all legal documents and correspondences.
This is a must-skill for a successful lawyer.
Most of the legal documents are normally drawn under the set rules and practices whose contravention may negatively impact your career.
To archive excellent drafting skills you must consider the following
- Observe all legal requirements of the documents you draft.
- Use appropriate language
- Edit, edit edit
- Make sure the hard copy looks neat
- Determine you’re the audience, are you writing for a judge, attorney, or client? Make sure you meet the demand of the audience
- Use short sentence
- Be clear and precise
- Observe the chronological flow of facts
Presentation skills for lawyers
This is the interpersonal aspect of the advocate.
Here a lawyer is live and physically exposing himself before the court, client, opponent party, or public.
To archive the best presentations skills you must consider the following
- You must have the logical and chronological flow of his arguments with the respect to organizing yourself in terms of arguments, material facts of the case, the law applicable, and relevant authorities.
- Be flexible
- Speak audibly. Do not whisper.
- Be clear and interesting. Use real-life examples to give life to your presentation
- Avoid unnecessary argument which creates doubt and question validity or truthfulness when addressing the court.
- Adheres to the rules of professional conduct including treating the court with candor, fairness, courtesy, honesty, and respect.
Read more: communication skills for lawyers
The advocacy skills for lawyers though they need training commonly they are attributed to personal or human nature.
Most of the advocacy skills of lawyers cannot be taught but are acquired during the process of advocating.
To archive, the highest level of skills needs time and continuous learning.
There is a wise expression that says there is no better teacher that can substitute experience.