What Makes a Trial Attorney Effective?
How does one become an effective trial attorney? It boils down to being an effective communicator. Everything an attorney does sends a message to the jury and judge. This involves your personal appearance, how you speak, your posture, eye contact and how you put together your message. It’s important to watch other people try cases any chance you get. You learn from both good attorneys and bad attorneys.
Don’t be afraid to steal from the best trial attorneys you can find, whether in your local courtrooms or in the pages of history such as Abraham Lincoln or Clarence Darrow. The most important trait an attorney possesses in persuading a jury or judge is their sincerity and honesty. Be true to who you are and embrace it, don’t run away from it. Nobody is going to buy what you’re saying no matter how polished, if they don’t believe you. Be yourself.
The collective wisdom and perception of the jury will spot a phony. The most credible attorney is the most persuasive advocate before the jury. I’ve seen more than my share of cases where the more polished, handsome and “intelligent” attorney lost. Remember, the jury decides a case based upon the most credible evidence presented for their consideration. Be a worthy guide to the truth.