In our legal system, the people need advocates. That’s what trial lawyers are – trained advocates with knowledge of the law and the procedural rules of engagement. Most people lack the skills to advocate for themselves effectively in a court of law. That’s where trial lawyers come in. Here’s the thing (there’s always a thing). If you want to be a trial lawyer, you should love advocating for your clients. This means being able to identify with their plights and problems – and being able to persuasively communicate them to a judge or jury. When I have done that effectively, it is obvious from the look in my clients’ eyes. The look tells me, “You get it, and thank you for expressing it for me.”
There’s another thing. Legal matters are like puzzles. Do you like solving puzzles? Well imagine trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle while someone else was simultaneously trying to impede or destroy your work. That’s our adversarial system of justice. When a client contacts you with a problem, that’s a puzzle. The trial lawyer’s job is to develop legal solutions to that problem and to implement a strategy. Meanwhile, opposing counsel is doing the same thing – and that strategy involves poking holes in your plan, or destroying it altogether. If this sounds frustrating, you probably would not enjoy being a trial lawyer. But if the prospect of putting your heart and mind into advocating for someone else, and getting the chance to win, sounds exciting, there’s a reason for that. You are among those select few who, like me, would enjoy being a trial lawyer.