Can Introverts Make Good Trial Lawyers?

Can an introvert make a good lawyer – especially a good divorce lawyer?  The truth is, most cases these days do not go to trial.  Whether it is the expense, time involved, or beacuse of new alternative dispute resolution methods being used more and more, people are not having to try their case as much.  But, some cases still can’t be settled and are left up to the Court for a decision where zealous advocacy is required by the lawyers.  I read an article recently by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler entitled “Why Introverts Can Make the Best Leaders” over at Forbes.com.  I originally wrote this post over at TrippAtkins.com but thought it would be beneficial over here as well as I examine whether an introvert can make a good trial lawyer.

Jennifer points out that many of the best leaders in the country consider themselves introverts.  The list includes Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Charles Schwab.  Jennifer wrote that there are at least five reasons that introverts make good leaders:

  1. They think first, talk later;
  2. They focus on depth;
  3. They exude calm;
  4. They let their fingers do the talking;
  5. They embrace solitude.

Now, when I read the article the five points above really resonated with me.  You see, I’m an introvert.  So I got to thinking…can an introvert make a good lawyer?  More specifically, can an introvert make a good trial lawyer?

When I think of a trial lawyer, I think of a character such as Alan Shore from TV’s Boston Legal. Someone who is extremely quick on their feet with wit and sarcasm.  I’m asked occasionally by clients or prospective clients who want to know if I’m going to be a bulldog or super aggressive – someone who stands up and makes a show or screams and shouts around.

Can an introvert effectively represent their clients in trial?  I think so.  My experience has been that I examine a case in depth.  Preparation is of extreme importance.  More extroverted people are able to think on their feet and may not need to prepare as much in advance, but an introvert can get past that with in depth preparation where they plan a response for any conceivable argument or objection.

The third point, “exuding calm” is extremely important for trial lawyers – especially for divorce and family law lawyers because of the extremely personal and emotional nature of the cases we deal with.  By being able to stand back from the case from a non-emotional place and look at it objectively, you can more effectively represent and advise your clients.

I think introverts can make excellent trial lawyers and can effectively represent their clients.  What do you think?

Comments

  1. I learned a lot of information from this piece and will definitely keep it in my RSS. Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this topic so thoroughly. I look forward to future posts.

  2. Amanda Traxler says:

    Being an introvert myself, I can appreciate the qualities of such, and see how those qualities would be valuable in litigation. I also think introverts could appear more respectful and respectable in front of judge, as opposed to someone with more obnoxious or impulsive tendencies.

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