12 Lawyer Qualities (And Why They're Important)

Updated June 24, 2022

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a lawyer, there are certain qualities that you need to have. Lawyers have the important job of defending their clients in court and giving legal advice, making it crucial for you to be a confident and capable professional. While some of these qualities come naturally, you can develop others. In this article, we share 12 lawyer qualities and why they are important to have.

Related: Attorney vs. Lawyer: What Are the Differences?

What are lawyer qualities?

Lawyer qualities are the skills and characteristics you need to become a successful legal professional. In order to help your clients and provide quality legal services, you need to possess a certain set of qualities. This challenging yet rewarding career is more ideal for some individuals than others. Along with being intelligent, successful lawyers need to have the ability to be persuasive in the courtroom. You need to be someone who is confident in yourself and your ability to represent a client or business entity.

Related: 15 Types of Law Careers You Can Pursue

Important lawyer qualities

Here are 12 of the most important lawyer qualities to have:


Much of your role as a lawyer involves making an argument on behalf of your client. Rather than giving in to what the other side of the courtroom is saying, you need to be the kind of person who is willing to argue for what you believe in. You need to think of arguments that are going to be favorable for your client and ways to present them in a persuasive way.

Related: Career Outlook and Challenges for Lawyers


While some of your court cases may be intense, you need to find ways to keep your emotions balanced when representing your client. Although it's important to show you are passionate about a case, you still need to keep your composure in the courtroom. Showing a sense of respect and professionalism to the judge and other individuals involved in a case can help your client's position and improve your reputation as a lawyer.


Lawyers need to have strong written and verbal communication skills. Remember, you are the one who is a legal professional, meaning that you need to have the ability to communicate complicated legal concepts in simplified terms. Your communication skills can help you ensure your client and the jury understand what you are trying to tell them. Likewise, much of this role involves written correspondence, meaning you need to be an effective writer.

Related: How To Become a Lawyer on Your Timeline


When working with individual clients, there may be a lot of emotions involved. Showing compassion can help your client feel better during uncertain times. It also shows that you genuinely care about their case. While it's important to separate your own emotions from especially challenging cases, your compassion can be useful when interacting with clients.


When presenting your case to the jury, you need to show them that you are confident about your client's stance. Being a lawyer also requires public-speaking skills which require a great deal of confidence. You need to be able to eloquently present evidence and arguments for your client.


Sometimes finding evidence that is favorable for your client requires some creating thinking. Being a creative person is also helpful when determining what to say about a case. You need to look at a complicated situation and come up with arguments that help your client, which requires quite a bit of creativity.

Related: What Can You Do With a Law Degree? Top 12 Law Degree Jobs


Preparing your client's case can take a lot of time and effort. Lawyers need to stay driven throughout the entire process to ensure they are serving their clients to the best of their ability. This drive can help you look at a case in a new way and find better outcomes.


Becoming a lawyer requires an advanced understanding of the law. Most law programs require three years of intense studying and comprehension of legal terms and processes. You need to take the knowledge you learned through law school and experience and apply it to every task you do. Your intelligence can help you ensure you are giving good legal advice and making smart arguments.


Depending on your case, you may need to work long, challenging hours. By finding ways to motivate yourself, you can stay on track and produce quality arguments. Much of a lawyer's motivation may come from their desire to succeed. You may also find motivation by channeling your commitment to helping your clients to the best of your ability.


There are a lot of components to the legal system. Being organized ensures you are following all the rules and regulations of the legal process. As a lawyer, you are working with all kinds of evidence and sensitive information. Your organization skills can help you ensure only the right people are getting access to these materials. Likewise, being organized can help you ensure you are keeping all of your legal documents in order. This is important when you need to reference them for a case.


Court cases can last from months to even years. Your patience ensures you can stay motivated throughout this long, complicated process. Being patient also can help you continue to act professionally in and out of the courtroom. This quality is also helpful if you have a client who is eager to learn their verdict, as you may need to inform them of the length of this process.


Much of this role involves persuading a jury to believe your client's side of the case. Even if your client doesn't claim innocence, your persuasive skills can help you get them a better plea bargain. The way you present evidence can drastically alter the way a case concludes. If you are a strong negotiator, you can help your client leave the courtroom in a favorable position.

Explore more articles

  • 20 Computer Scientist Degree Jobs That Pay Well
  • 19 Mechatronics Careers With Salaries and Duties
  • 15 In-Demand Jobs of the Future (Plus Average Salaries)
  • 8 High-Paying Endocrinology Careers
  • 22 Best Second Shift Jobs To Pursue (With Salaries)
  • 11 Jobs in the Solar Power Industry
  • 19 High-Paying Transcription Jobs
  • 20 of the Best Entry-level Jobs for Business Majors
  • 8 Construction Management Career Paths (With Average Salaries and Duties)
  • What Is a Capital Market Analyst?
  • 19 Jobs You Can Do With an Anthropology Degree (With Salaries)
  • How To Ask for a Full-Time Position (With Tips and an Example)