Standard lawyers flourish, good lawyers are common, but great corporate lawyers are hard to find. What is the mantra that makes a good lawyer GREAT and GOOD? Great lawyers love what they do and it is this passion towards their work that separates them from unevenness.
Step 1=> Know your subject & law carefully. In-depth and sound understanding of the substantive law is a must. Know your subject, its nuances, interpretations and important case laws to have a command on the law that you are practicing. No amount of communication or writing skills can gloss over the lack of knowledge in law which comes from continuous reading & practice. Repetitive reading of law with an open mind brings different connotations and opens the door for creative interpretations. I have personally read same clause differently at different times which new outlook each time.
Step 2=> Know the facts crusty & clear. Complete understanding of the facts of the transaction helps accurate application of law as law applies differently to different facts. No two matters are similar so grasp the facts correctly to charge an issue. Delusion of a fact may change the whole structure and the end result sought to be achieved. My senior and mentor in law Mrs. Pooja Jha had the ability to get to the core of the matter by vertical power of crispy reading and simplicity of thought. I continuously strive for that clarity.
Step 3=> Understand the purpose required to be achieved. Empathize with the needs of your client, dynamics of the transaction and what is future to be achieved. Alignment with the objectives of your client coupled with certain analytical & appraisal skills helps in gaining long lasting confidence of the client. One possible way of gaining this insight is by having a serious need to know your client’s business and by feeling the passion he/she feels for the issue.
Step 4=> Know your atmosphere. Make a aware attempt to read new developments in the practice area that you are specializing in; understand its dynamics, rules and regulations, latest amendments and changes in law and the transactions closed in the sector. This will help in gaining the self-assurance of the client and also structuring the transaction better. Client’s prospect from a good corporate lawyer is usually a mix of good legal understanding and sound commercial appraisal/suggestion.
Step 5=> Keep the Right manner. It is the attitude that separates patchiness from greatness in any profession. Sincerely loving the work that you do makes all the dissimilarity to the advice given. Believing in the work one does and the clients one represents is important to ignite that all so important obsession – so therefore do not accept briefs that you not go well with your own belief system. There are times when I refuse briefs/transactions that require me to render advice or undertake work that goes basically against my worth system. Corroboration of one’s obligation towards work and aiming for the fulfillment of the client also helps.
Step 6=> Focus on interpersonal relationship and be available when it matters the most. Learn to listen (and not only hear) to the viewpoint of not only your clients but also your opponents, support team, and other connections. Watch closely how they think and what makes them happy – stroke their achievements. Being perceptive and point of view is one of the toughest parts of being a great lawyer and being available for most part of the day is the other. However, ease of access brings trust and steadfastness – so go for it.
In my experience as a corporate lawyer, the single principal inspiring factor that keeps me going is my fervor for work, approval of my clients and the pure happiness it gives me. There are no classes that one can attend to become a great lawyer – what ultimately counts are the way we move toward our profession and I still have miles to go…
I would be happy to accept your feed back or inputs or additional points that I may have missed in our journey of being a Great Lawyer. The author is a founding partner of a Delhi based law firm Delhi Lawyers and is a corporate and commercial lawyer in Delhi.
Areas of Practice:
Civil Dispute, Criminal Cases, Divorce Cases, Family Dispute, Company Law, Income Tax, General Corporate and Commercial, Labour and Industrial Dispute, Real Estate and Property Dispute and International Arbitration etc.
Pooja Jha practice over six years during which she has acquired considerable expertise in representing developers, sponsors/lenders, venture capital investors, international corporations, financial institutions, and other strategic investors involved in the establishment, development and financing of major infrastructure projects in India.
Pooja Jha is a Partner with a Delhi Based Law Firm Delhi Lawyers Law Office and regularly contributes to journals and publications and often takes up speaking actions at national and international forums. For more detail visit us at www.delhi-lawyers.in