What makes a lawyer ‘good’ is subjective. Different people have different factors as to what they think makes a good lawyer. Some argue that there is no metric that can compare to word-of-mouth referrals for that lawyer, from people who have engaged their services.
They say that this is the only way to verify if a lawyer is good, because the school they went to, their rates, the size of their office or how well-designed their websites are are all irrelevant to the quality of service provided. Any lawyer, with the correct marketing, can emphasise these traits. However, none of them can control the perception of the public, or what others say about them.
To expand further, let’s take a look at some other traits that good lawyers have :
- Understands the situation
Understanding the law is one thing, but law is very complex, and legal cases are all unique. Just a small change can cause someone to adhere to entirely different procedures. A good lawyer should be able to understand the law in the context of the case presented to them. They know exactly what it is, and what needs to be done. They can present their clients with options to a recourse, which brings me to my next point.
A good lawyer is also someone who has their client’s best interests at hand. They understand the reason why their client wants a certain outcome, or why they want things done a certain way. When lawyers know this, they are then in a better position to help their clients get a favourable outcome. Ethical lawyers also lay out options that they truly believe are in their client’s best interest. They do not convince or deceive their clients into choosing the more expensive option, just because it means more money for them. The loophole here is that unless you talk to another good lawyer, or you know the situation and the law surrounding it well, you won’t know if you are being deceived or not.
- People person
Clients come in and out of a lawyer’s office almost on a daily basis, meaning lawyers talk to many different people seeking legal help. WIth this type of ‘practice’ of talking to people everyday, it is a surprise why some lawyers seem to need more help in sustaining a conversation, or are simply not people we would want to talk to.
A good lawyer gives off that a charismatic aura, whereby their potential clients feel like they can trust them, and are comfortable in confiding their legal issues with. This is a trait not every lawyer has. But before we question them for not being good conversationalists, we have to understand that divorce lawyers are busy people. Their time is very valuable, and even though some charge by the hour, they do not necessarily get paid by the hour.
- Managing Expectations
Good lawyers do not give up easily, and combined with the factors above, are able to come up with a strategy to win the case for their clients. They do whatever they can to defend their clients, while being professional and ethical.
Good lawyers are also not afraid to tell the ugly truth. This can be in terms of the case, their fees or even the amount of time they can dedicate to a case. I’ve seen a number of lawyers vying to be the ‘cheapest divorce lawyer singapore’, in an attempt to win over price sensitive clients.
Sometimes, the situation is really bleak, and no one likes being the bearer of bad news. However, in situations that seem like a dead end, a good lawyer is able to tell their clients the truth, and not sugarcoat anything. Clients may have unrealistic expectations, and lawyers should be able to bring them back down to earth and set realistic expectations.
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