For many people, the process of becoming a barrister involves the fulfilment of a lifelong dream or calling; indeed, there can be little doubt that barristers are entrusted with some of the most important tasks in society. To become a great barrister, it is therefore important that aspiring attorneys cultivate a strong set of personal qualities and values. The following personal characteristics may be vital aspects of a successful legal career.
- Good Critical Thinking Skills
Make no mistake, the practice of law requires the use of serious analytical skills and a strong personal capacity for critical thinking. To be a great barrister, a person must devote countless hours of study to analyzing legal precedent and case histories. Even “simple” legal cases can demand serious thought and consideration.
- A Strong Work Ethic
It is true that many lawyers working in government agencies work fairly reasonable hours; for most lawyers at private firms, however, long working hours are often the norm. Many attorneys at top corporate firms work over 80 hours per week during crunch time. To really excel as a barrister, a good work ethic is a must.
- Strong Networking Skills
In a tight job market, nabbing a good position after graduation from law school isn’t always easy. Using networking skills to find the perfect job after completing a legal education can really make the task easier. Even if they’re shy, most aspiring barristers should spend time honing their social skills outside of their legal studies. Such skills are imperative for success in a tough legal job market.
- A Keen Sense of Ethics
In general, barristers are held to some of the highest ethical standards in the professional sphere. To really succeed, barristers must always be honest and forthright in their dealings with clients, judges, and rival counsellors. Ethical infractions can even cost barristers their licenses to practice law.
- Good Writing Skills
Whether you’re composing a legal brief or corresponding with an important client about their case, you’ll definitely want to brush up on your writing skills as a barrister. Writing is a big part of being a practising attorney; attorneys who can write well are highly sought-after in the legal industry.