Have Confidence

First impressions really do matter. In your capacity as a lawyer, always greet people with a charming smile, direct eye contact, and a firm handshake. Believe in yourself and your legal skills and knowledge. Such confidence will encourage everyone you meet to believe in your abilities and perceive you as successful.

Confidence does not mean arrogance. No one likes or respects an arrogant person, especially if that person is a lawyer. You may be thinking that you would rather be successful than liked. Don’t limit yourself to such thinking; you will be more successful as a lawyer if you are likable. Often arrogant attorneys are seen as lacking in skills—their arrogance is perceived as a mask to cover their basic incompetence in the legal arena. Such perception may be totally unfounded, but such is the lot of an arrogant attorney.

And don’t go completely the other way and just rely on your charming personality and winning smile. Your confidence should be backed by good legal skills. There will be many times when you won’t know the answer to clients’ questions. That’s okay—that’s the nature of the profession. Simply tell them, with confidence of course, that you will have to do some research to answer their question. Inform them what some of the possibilities may be off the top of your head, but emphasize that you will have to research it to be sure because the law is always changing. You can still have confidence, even if you aren’t sure what the answer to the question is.

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