Characteristics to Look for When Choosing a Lawyer

Find the right lawyer can be tough and it can be hard to make a judgement if you are in quick need.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the lawyer you are using to look over your will is probably not the same lawyer you’d use to file a lawsuit.

No single lawyer is right or every case, but there are some important characteristics that you’ll want to look out for when making your decision of what lawyer you want to work with.


Becoming a truly successful lawyer can take years and while many new lawyers are incredibly bright and determined and will go on to have fantastic careers, it is often best to seek out lawyers with years of experience in a given task.

Experience is obviously the best teacher and if you want a lawyer who is going to be able to avoid pitfalls, see opportunities when they present themselves, and give you the best opportunity to be successful in your legal venture, you are going to want to find one with years of it.

Here are some of the skills that lawyers gain with time and experience:

  • Negotiating with other seasoned lawyers or legal teams
  • Picking a great jury
  • Valuing a case for settlement
  • Cross examination
  • Developing effective arguments
  • Communicating with judges

As a lawyer gains experience, they learn how to win. They also learn the importance of a sympathetic jury, and know when to take or offer a settlement.

Basically, a lawyer acts as both your legal representation and legal advisor. You want to know that the person who is advising you on what legal course to take has been there before!


There’s always been the reputation that lawyers get of being sleazy, shady, dishonest, and more. The truth is, most lawyers have great integrity and are simply trying to do the best job they can with the task at hand.

Good lawyers can be strong and have bullet proof negotiating tactics without being deceitful.

A great lawyer knows their reputation is everything and if their clients can’t trust them, then no one can. Still, it is important to keep integrity in mind when you are searching for the right lawyer.

If you sense any red flags, it is probably best to go another way.


As previously mentioned, a lawyer’s reputation is everything to their business.

Lawyers are judged not only by their clients, but also by judges, peers, and more. Overtime, a lawyer will have a reputation that is easily found.

One way to learn about a great lawyer is to ask friends and family members about lawyers they have used in the past. Ask about how they felt the lawyer managed their case, ask if they were happy with the communication and the result.

If you have a lawyer that you prefer to work with but they do not have expertise in the matter at hand, ask them if they know any lawyers working in that aspect of the law.


A lot of lawyers see their job as just that – a job. Ideally, their interest in helping you goes a bit deeper than that.

During an initial meeting a lawyer, make sure that they ask a lot of questions to learn about your case. Make sure that they are really listening to you and what to fully understand your concerns.

Good lawyers will understand and empathize with you situation. If a case goes to trial, you will want a lawyer that is personally invested in helping you get the justice you deserve. They’ll only be interested in that way if they truly understand where you are coming from and what you want and deserve out of your case.


There is nothing wrong with having a do-it-all lawyer take a look at simpler tasks, but if you have a specific case or suit on the horizon, you are going to want to find a lawyer that is specifically primed for that kind of work.

When a case demands a greater level of expertise, general practice lawyers will typically encourage you to find an attorney that has a more specific line of expertise.

That more specific expertise means they will likely understand the ins and outs of your case far better. Thats because if they’re spending time becoming an expert on specific tasks, they’re going to have a lot more time to learn than general attorneys who pride themselves on knowing about law in a more general sense.

Lawyers with a limited practice typically belong to professional associations that are designed to deal with specific fields of law. If you have a need for a lawyer with specific expertise, it might serve you best to start your search within these professional associations.


This might seem like a secondary concern, but if you are going to spending a lot of time with your lawyer, you’re going to want to make sure that you actually get along.

Clients and lawyers need to be able to communicate with one another often and in a positive and productive way. They need to respect each other and a lawyer needs to really understand their client’s goals and aspirations.

Communications, respect, and understanding are all crucial aspects to the rapport you build with your lawyer.

If you able to work productively with them and they help you get what you need out of your case or suit, chances are good their reputation will only improve and you will know where to look next time you need a lawyer.

It’s a win-win and can be an incredibly mutually beneficial relationship.

Good luck!

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