When we are asked to give a speech to a group of professionals, our first task should be to make sure that we take the time to fully understand who we will be talking to. The key to understand what they are trying to accomplish and then to shape our speech to match their specific needs. The result of doing this can be a powerful speech that allows us to really connect with our audience. As an example of this, let’s take a look at how you could create a speech that you could use to address lawyers who were trying to become better lawyers.
Are you one of the over 1.35 million lawyers in the United States?
Thumbs up! The legal profession is one of the most prestigious. Millions of students across the country aspire to become lawyers but only a handful achieve their dream.
However, as more people become lawyers, competition for clients is becoming stiffer by the day. Today, any lawyer who wants to stand out must invest in marketing and focus on offering excellent legal services. And to offer top-notch service, you must be a really good lawyer.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to be a good lawyer.
Have an In-Depth Understanding of the Law
Obviously, the fact that you’re already a licensed lawyer means you’ve met all the educational requirements for being a lawyer in your state. This involves successfully completing a JD program and acing your state bar examinations.
However, it’s one thing to be a licensed lawyer and it’s quite another to be a licensed lawyer who has an in-depth understanding of the law.
To be a good lawyer, you should live and breathe the law.
A prospective client isn’t going to hire a lawyer merely because they’re licensed to practice in the state. They need a professional who is well-versed and can make solid legal arguments in a court of law.
Graduating from law school doesn’t mean learning has come to an end. Good lawyers keep studying the law long after they’ve left school.
Specialize, Specialize, Specialize
Although there’s nothing wrong with being a general practice lawyer (a lawyer whose practice isn’t limited to any specific area), it’s highly advisable to specialize if you want to be recognized as a good lawyer.
You’re probably asking, “Doesn’t a general practice lawyer have a greater ability to attract more clients?”
Well, one can argue that being a general practice lawyer enables you to cast a wider net in terms of looking for clients, but here’s the thing: clients want to work with specialists.
Put yourself in a client’s shoes for a moment.
Let’s say you’re facing drug possession charges and several years behind bars if found guilty. Would you rather hire a general practice lawyer or a drug crime lawyer? If you want to stand a strong chance of avoiding jail, you’re going to hire a lawyer who specializes in drug crimes, no doubt.
As such, you may assume that general practice lawyers have greater marketability but that’s not the case. Specializing will narrow down your target market, but you have a strong chance of attracting a steady stream of clients.
So, what area of law should you specialize in?
It largely depends on your passion. What was your motivation for becoming a lawyer in the first place? If you wanted to help people suffering in immigration camps because they can’t get visas or residency permits or refugee statuses, you could make a good immigration lawyer.
Focus on Building a Solid Professional Reputation
Did you know the vast majority of people seeking legal services now go online and read lawyer reviews before hiring a certain lawyer?
What are people saying about the quality of your legal services online? If you’ve got lots of negative reviews online, you’ve already shot yourself in the arm. You can hire an online reputation management service to clean up, but that can take time and might not be very effective.
This is why a good lawyer focuses on building a strong professional reputation, both offline and online.
At the heart of building a positive reputation is offering quality services. Satisfied clients are more likely to go online and leave positive reviews.
Offline, develop a habit of attending legal conferences and events. Here, you can network with lawyers and other industry professionals.
Master the Science of Running a Profitable Practice
After securing their state licenses, the vast majority of lawyers will find employment in established law firms. However, you’ll eventually move into private practice and start your own law firm – that’s if you don’t do so right after law school.
Running a law firm and practicing law are two different things. You might be the best lawyer, but if you’re not business savvy, the firm could fail.
As such, an essential aspect of being a good lawyer is knowing how to run a profitable law firm.
You must open your firm in an ideal location, staff it accordingly, and implement an effective marketing strategy.
You should also know how to save costs on law office suppliers, such as legal index dividers. Speaking of dividers, check out this guide on saving on legal index dividers.
Just like maintaining your professional reputation as a lawyer, your law firm also needs to build a solid reputation. Ensure your employees are well-trained to offer excellent front-office services.
The legal profession isn’t known to be technologically forward. After all, your battles are fought and won (or lost) in court.
However, most of your current and future clients are tech-centric. To be a good lawyer, you need to ensure you’re enabling your clients to reach and engage with you on various tech platforms. Your firm should be on social media and your website ought to have features like live chat.
Embracing technology as a lawyer will go a long way in securing you more clients.
Know How to Be a Good Lawyer
You don’t want to be just a lawyer. You want to be a good lawyer; a lawyer who makes a difference in the lives of people. A lawyer who will leave a big mark.
With this guide, you now know how to be a good lawyer. Embrace and implement the tips fleshed out above.
All the best and keep reading our blog for more tips and insights.