What characteristics make a good lawyer?

I would say it comes back to the issue of people, the ability to have a good relationship with our clients and also those that we engage in. And to, in essence, you know, use our profession, the legal system to build up those relationships. Now, if we use our legislation and and the legal system, to improve the lives of our clients and to fight for the rights, then ultimately it’s about them. You know, it’s about what they gain out of the services that we render. And we should never lose sight of that. And that means that as lawyers, we should refine our ability to communicate with our clients, with even our opponents, you know, we can bring across our clients position in a more constructive way, depending on outcome, we communicate, we don’t always have to be confrontational as lawyers, although sometimes the perception is there that we, you know, we have to fight the cause. And there are times that we do have to fight the cause.

But we can do it in a dignified manner, as you know, as we enter into this profession, because despite our professions, we ultimately will always people, and that’s how we bring out the human side of this profession as well, despite the antagonism that we often see about the legal profession. It’s, I think it’s an honourable profession. And anybody entering the, you know, that profession should keep that in mind. Always. It’s honourable, and we’ve got a specific task. You know, I remember one of the first cases that I, we I represented a client, he was, you know, I came to represent him at a time when he was found guilty of breaking into somebody’s house. And the only thing that was outstanding was that the Magister there to sentencing and I was sitting there as a young, fresh attorney out of university and thinking, but this guy’s guilty, even what else can I do? And at that moment, I realised but actually, and they to present his case in mitigation to the magistrate, and I can make a difference. And I had to offer my skills, my experience, to offer my best for that client, even though he was guilty. And so that’s what I did at that moment.

And, you know, I thought, and the client thought he was going to go to jail. The magistrate responded by saying, I don’t know why, but I’m going to give you another opportunity today. And it didn’t give him a jail sentence. He gave him a suspended sentence. You know, and I walked away from that matter realising that I can make a difference to the lives of of my clients, but it depends on the commitment that I make, towards the work that I’m doing and towards my clients.

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What makes a good lawyer?

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