common traits in a good lawyer

8 Qualities Good Attorneys Have

Goldberg Jones Attorney Profiles, Divorce 13 Comments

By the time you get to the point of filing for divorce, you have likely already been through quite an ordeal. Ending a marriage is a huge step, one that comes with all kinds of emotion, pain, and stress, even in relatively straightforward cases. One of the most important decisions you may make along the way is hiring an attorney to represent you and your best interests.

The notion of the “best” divorce attorneys is a subjective matter. Each case is a different endeavor, with its own particular requirements and parameters.

Most important is finding representation that ideally suits you, your case, and your specific needs. It can be a daunting search, but in the end, choosing the right lawyer for your situation will be well worth the time and effort.

At Goldberg Jones in Seattle, our managing attorneys play matchmaker in a way, pairing clients with the lawyer who may be the best fit for the circumstances. While each case is unique, there are a number of qualities that the best divorce attorneys have in common.

Experience:

Everyone has to start somewhere, but with a matter as important as your divorce, you probably want to put yourself in sturdy, practiced hands. Knowing that your attorney has experience with the distinctive elements of your case can be a huge comfort. Trusting that your lawyer has seen similar situations before and is well aware of how to proceed can go a long way towards easing your stress level and soothing your state of mind in difficult times.

Good Communication Skills:

There will likely a great deal of back-and-forth discussion between the two sides during your divorce. Your attorney will need to sit down with you, hear your wants, desires, and needs, and communicate them to the other side in a clear, concise manner. Listening skills, confidence speaking in public, and being able to accurately convey information and articulate your stance can be an essential part of this process.

People Skills:

Going hand in hand with strong communication, the best divorce attorneys may need to employ excellent interpersonal and social skills. Divorce is a highly emotional situation, tempers can flare, and things can quickly become tense and heated. Depending on how contentious the proceedings get, the ability to maintain composure, calm intense feelings, and retain an even, professional demeanor and civility in tough times all come into play. Being a people person may be a valuable asset in making these interactions flow.

Analytical And Research Skills:

Preparing a legal strategy is complicated. Each case involves a large volume of facts and records. Your lawyer may need to explore, absorb, and interpret all of this material. From there, he or she will organize the information, distil it down, and determine the best way to move forward. Being able to make sense of all of the pertinent factors, how they impact the divorce, and to quickly and effectively research the legal questions in play, are important attributes for the best divorce attorneys to possess.

Judgment:

With the massive amount of information divorce attorneys need to ingest, processing everything in a logical manner is key. Being able to critically examine the particulars may help when it comes to identifying potential weak spots in an argument, both yours and theirs, and reinforcing your bargaining position. Impeccable judgment may come into play often in decision making, as there will likely be little time for indecisiveness, and your best interests may hang in the balance of each choice.

Creativity:

As much as logical thinking, judgment, and analytical skills will figure into your divorce proceedings, creative problem solving and the ability to improvise on the fly may also be an important quality to look for in a divorce attorney.

Problems and roadblocks can appear out of nowhere. Great lawyers have the ability to think on their feet and present innovative, rational, reasonable solutions when sudden and distinct scenarios arise.

Dedication:

Even in the simplest cases, divorce is not a quick or easy process. Depending on the situation, you may be in for a long, drawn-out legal action.

The best divorce attorneys will be dedicated and willing to put in the time and energy to see it through—even just becoming a lawyer in the first place shows a remarkable level of commitment. Cases may involve long hours of deliberation, in-depth research, and extended mediation sessions, which in turn require a great deal of perseverance on your lawyer’s part.

Competitiveness:

Divorce isn’t always hyper-contentious, but even in the best of times, if both sides have enlisted the help of an attorney, there is likely going to be a degree of conflict. Your lawyer’s job is to represent your voice and interests and to ensure as many of your conditions are met as possible.

In this situation, a little competitive spirit and hate-to-lose attitude may not be the worst trait. We like to use the term, ‘appropriately aggressive’.

Every divorce is different. The best divorce attorney for you may not be the best divorce attorney for everyone else. Circumstances and the specifics of your individual situation will likely influence what you look for when seeking out representation, but many great family law practitioners do share these common traits. 

Related Reading:  Pro Se Divorce: When to DIY

Comments 13

  1. A friend of mine is going through a divorce and throughout the process of trying to make things work with his wife he has been talking with me and explaining to me how he feels about the whole ordeal. I have tried to help him, however, it has been hard especially because I have never experienced what he is experiencing. Nevertheless, because I know little about divorce I have been looking up a lot about it and I agree that a lawyer is needed to help the process be as stress-free as possible. I think that it would be a good idea to contact a lawyer to finalize the process smoothly.

  2. That’s an interesting point that your lawyer will have to deal with your former spouse’s lawyer. I can see how that would take competitiveness to advocate for you appropriately. My sister is going through a divorce and I told her even if she thought it would be simple, she needs to see some legal counsel.

  3. I’m always looking for better ways to improve myself as a lawyer. Getting feedback from my clients and other people who have had to deal with the hardships of a divorce is the best way I know to improve my abilities as well as reading articles such as these. these top 8 qualities bring me immense insight into how i can improve my services. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. I have a friend who is in the early stages of a divorce who is wondering if a lawyer is a right choice for her. It is good to know that when it comes to hiring a lawyer, it is best to put yourself in sturdy, practiced hands. Experience would put you at ease in a divorce case, knowing you are being taken care of.

  5. I’d heard that it was important to really do your homework when choosing a divorce attorney, and so I decided to do some homework online as I will likely be needing one of my own. I loved what you said about considering creativity, as you’ll want to choose an attorney that can think on their feet. This would be perfect, as these cases can be quite tense, and having someone who can think of new solutions on the spot may be what I need to get the best result possible out of this case.

  6. I have never considered how important it is to choose a family law attorney that is dedicated to putting in the time and energy needed to win your case. My sister is currently going through the divorce process. Hopefully, this article can help her find an expert that can help her through the required paperwork.

  7. I like how you pointed out that a good divorce attorney ought to have excellent interpersonal skills. To me, this would make a divorce attorney a lot easier to trust and confide in. After all, you’ll likely need to share personal details about your marriage with that lawyer so being comfortable with them ought to be something highly considered.

  8. Thanks for pointing out that we should find a lawyer who is very dedicated since divorce isn’t a quick or easy process. My brother is getting divorced, and he is wondering how to find a good attorney to help represent him. I will be sure to tell my brother that he should make sure that the lawyer he hires is very dedicated to his case.

  9. Thanks for your comment about how you should hire a divorce lawyer that can help strengthen weak parts of your side of the case. I like how you said that they should be able to problem solve well and be creative. My husband is looking into divorce lawyers for his frine who is now going through this process of separation.

  10. My sister is about to go through a divorce. It’s helpful to know what we need to look for in a lawyer for her. Finding someone with great communication skills is definitely important because that’s something she lacks.

  11. I really appreciate you saying that a lawyer must be willing to commit to the case and willing to put in effort and energy just to see it through. I know that you made this for divorce cases, but I think that a child custody case is just as lengthy and taxing as a divorce case. That is the reason, why I think it is a good idea to have a patient and dedicated lawyer for my child custody case, as I really want to win it.

  12. Thanks for explaining some qualities an attorney should have. It’s good to know to look for someone that can look at the details and spot weak points in an argument. This seems really helpful especially if it can help a case towards the truth.

  13. I really liked it when you said that getting a dedicated lawyer can go a long way since court proceedings can be long and tedious with a lot of work needing to be done. I know that you made this article for divorce cases, but I do think that every single case can take a while regardless of what it is. That is why I will get myself a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney. The case is important, and I need someone who will stand by me no matter how long it takes.

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