How to Think Like a Lawyer: 4 Things You Need to Succeed

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Think like a lawyer

Think like a lawyerA very popular topic we encounter is the idea of “thinking like a lawyer.” While improving one’s legal reasoning skills as a student of law is an admirable pursuit, the truth is that thinking like a lawyer has applications beyond the courtroom. Here are four common characteristics that attorneys practice that can be invaluable for everyday situations.

1. Be tolerant.

Oftentimes, an attorney will be given a case that does not align with their personal beliefs and values. Practicing tolerance can help the attorney put aside their personal values for the good of the client, their work and / or career, and even the law itself. Similarly, being tolerant of other beliefs and values can help you become more sympathetic to the needs of others – whether you are practicing law or not. In these cases, it is important to understand that you are not undermining your own values; you’re simply doing what needs to be done.

2. Be pragmatic.

Pragmatism is critical for thinking like a lawyer. Compromises are at the core of many practicing lawyers’ professional careers; coming to a settlement, reducing sentences – all of these are the result of lessons learned that trains the attorney to look at things from the big picture perspective. Perhaps the settlement isn’t as large as what the client wanted, or the sentence not as short, but the steps taken were in the client’s favor. Taking a similar approach to your daily goings-on can be to your benefit; thinking practically can help you be more productive and efficient, especially when you’re making financial decisions trying to manage your time better.

3. Be logical.

In order to make effective arguments, an attorney at law has to look at all possible angles. Their success in the courtroom hinges on building a foundation of logic in support of their argument; if they can make a good case, they can sway even the most stubborn jury. And it goes without saying that you will encounter plenty of arguments in your everyday life. However, the ability to analyze and see all sides of an argument can help you understand where the other side is coming from.

Effective arguing is not the only thing that benefits from a logical outlook; deductive reasoning can also allow you to spot patterns of logic, thereby enabling you to form conclusions for a variety of scenarios. It can give you the flexibility that is necessary to see the moral “gray areas” that the an attorney at law so often must deal with.

4. Be engaged.

Lawyers have a reputation for being laser-focused, determined individuals. This makes sense if you look at it from a certain perspective. They are often career-minded; their goal is to deliver the desired results for their clients by defeating the logic and arguments of their attorney opponents. While they are motivated by a number of reasons, they share one thing: they are actively engaged throughout the entire process. You can take a cue from this approach by working on being more proactive in your daily life. Sitting on the sidelines just waiting for results can only get you so far. However, taking an active role in seeing your decisions through, as well as feeling invested in your actions, can give you a greater sense of drive as well as fulfillment as you go through your day.

Have more questions? Ask a lawyer! We are happy to answer your law-related questions, or help you find a lawyer in your area.

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