Attorney Duties & Responsibilities, Attorney Skills & Competencies

 Attorney Duties & Responsibilities

Attorneys' responsibilities can cover a wide range of duties, and they might vary somewhat depending upon the area of law in which they practice. Some common duties include: Advising clients regarding ongoing litigation or explaining legal issues they might be facing or have concerns about. Research the details and evidence involved in cases, such as police reports, accident reports, or pleadings previously filed in a case, as well as applicable law.

Interpret case law and decisions handed down by other applicable courts. This can involve analyzing the effects of a good many factors that might have been involved in other cases. Develop case strategies, such as trying to resolve cases early and cost-effectively for his clients rather than go to trial. Prepare pleadings and other documents, such as contracts, deeds, and wills. Appear in court before a judge or jury to orally defend a client's rights and best interests.

Attorneys can be general practitioners, or they might specialize in any one of a number of areas, such as criminal law, real estate, corporate issues, estate and probate matters, intellectual property, matrimonial and family law, or environmental law.

Attorney Skills & Competencies

In addition to the educational and licensing requirement, an attorney needs certain soft skills to excel in this field: Communication skills: An attorney must be able to communicate well both in writing and orally. They must also be excellent listeners. Nerves of steel: An attorney must remain unflappable when things go wrong in court in front of a critical audience—and they sometimes will.

Critical thinking skills: An attorney must have strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills in order to identify problems and come up with solutions, then choose and implement the best one. Research skills: Much about this profession requires being able to isolate and identify pertinent information. Interpersonal skills: These skills can be even more important in delicate areas of specialty, such as family law, in order to establish a supportive relationship with clients at times when they might not be at their best.


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