Successful Lawyer Skills and Behaviors

It would be nice if science would deliver a definitive list of skills and behaviors that resulted in lawyer success. The law schools could teach it, employers would hire for it, and clients and society would be better off. Alas, this is unlikely to happen. The first stumbling block is our inability to agree on an adequate definition of success. Is the yardstick for success income or fame? Alternatively, is success the result of justice advanced through brilliant advocacy, or can it flow from justice delayed through mastery of procedure, thus pleasing the client who benefits from the delay? Or perhaps true success occurs outside the limelight and is derived from the admiration and respect of one’s peers and clients, or some internal scorecard that connects lawyers to the rest of humanity. Suffice it to say, even if all stakeholders agreed on a single measure of success, these issues raise difficult problems of measurement.

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