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What Communication Skills Do Lawyers Need?

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Beth Kennedy Profile
Beth Kennedy answered
To be a lawyer, there are several communication skills that must be developed in order to be successful. Communication skills are needed to maintain and develop trust between lawyers and clients and also lawyers and colleagues. The key elements for good communication skills for lawyers include:

  • Verbal communication
  • Good listening
  • Persuasion
Verbal communication is essential in maintaining a good rapport with colleagues and clients. Using E-mail is fine, but when bad news needs to be delivered it is best to do it face-to-face. It is important to speak with colleagues and clients in person as it is easier to read the emotions and intentions of a person. Honest and prompt communication can be completed through using a telephone to contact clients. They will appreciate this greatly, even if the news is bad! With good communication it is essential not to talk too much. This leads us to the next aspect of good communication- good listening.

Good listening is an invaluable factor for successful and efficient communication. When clients and colleagues feel like you are really listening to them they will open up and begin to trust you. Listening can help deepen the understanding of the client's situation. This means the lawyer can work to the best of his or her ability when handling a case. The key to  being a good listener includes: Not interrupting, avoiding the rehearsing of answers when the other person is communicating, not worrying about controlling the conversation and ensuring you are comfortable listening to your clients feelings.

Persuasion is a characteristic all lawyers must possess in order to be successful at negotiating, arguing, hiring staff and responding to a client  proposal. Important discussion must be conducted when you feel at your most confident. If you are calm, prepared and detached you will be more persuasive. Do not let emotions get in the way.

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