Traits and Abilities Every Aspiring Trial Lawyer Should Possess

by tylercook on September 26, 2013

  • Sharebar

Trial lawyers are those who take on cases that are challenging and have a great likelihood of going to trial. While all lawyers are required to possess good negotiation and verbal skills, there is a certain art to being a successful and highly sought-after trial lawyer. Whether you are hiring a trial lawyer or aspiring to be one, here are some of the traits trial lawyers must possess.


Trial lawyers will spend a large amount of time in front of juries questioning their clients, witnesses related to the case, experts and the opposing party’s list of witnesses. To be successful, a trial lawyer must not only possess the ability to ask the right questions but to be confident in the direction they are taking their case. Without seeing confidence, jurors will be less likely to have faith in the lawyer’s line of questioning and method of delivery.

A Strong Presence

Aside from confidence, a trial lawyer must have a strong presence, whether on the phone, via email or (most importantly) in-person at a trial. A strong presence can be defined in many different ways and is partially connected to the lawyer’s level of confidence. However, having a strong presence takes things one step further. A trial lawyer should appear put together from head to toe, speak clearly in a confident voice and possess body language that expresses a high level of expertise.


A trial lawyer needs to possess strong knowledge of the case at hand yet remain relatable to the jurors. For example, a trial lawyer may have an extensive vocabulary that they use in their personal life, but using their extensive vocabulary is not the best way to communicate with jurors. Instead they need to showcase the knowledge they have of the case being tried in a way that’s easy for everyday individuals to understand and relate to.

The Ability to Think and Respond Quickly

A trial lawyer will have their list of questions prepared for each person they will be questioning, but it is imperative that they are able to respond quickly as questions are being answered. Each answer has the potential to open the door to more questions that could be beneficial or damaging to the case at hand. A trial lawyer needs to possess the skills to immediately adjust and change their line of questioning on the spot.


A successful lawyer is not born overnight, and like most things, practice makes perfect. While a new trial lawyer may have all the traits above, there is nothing that can compare to experience in the courtroom. There are a multitude of unexpected things that could arise, and the more experience a lawyer has, the better prepared they are to adapt to unexpected surprises. This could be surprises that arise while information is being gathered or things that occur while the trial is in session.

If you are selecting a trial lawyer to represent you, you also want to make sure they are someone you feel comfortable working with. While the goal is not to be friends with your trial lawyer, they need to be relatable and likable enough that you feel comfortable working with them and having them represent you during a difficult time in your life.


Claude Dillinger focuses on legal and financial topics such as Debt Restructure, Bankruptcy, Tax Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Personal Injury and other areas as well.




Latest posts by tylercook (see all)

No related posts.

Previous post:

Next post: