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What Skills Do I Need as a Legal Representative?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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A legal representative is usually a trained lawyer who has the license and qualifications necessary to serve as legal representative to clients who may require such services. The requirements to become a legal representative are the same as needed to become a licensed legal advocate. This includes skills such as having a good attention to detail as well as the ability to think in a critical manner, conduct negotiations, appropriately perform or conduct research, and speak effectively.

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One of the major requirements for becoming a legal representative is the ability to think in a highly critical manner. What this means is that the representative must be able to use his or her mind as a tool for deciphering the apparent and hidden meaning underlying any form of communication that may arise in the course of legal representation. This skill is especially important in the preparation for the trial and in the court when the representative must sort through the evidence and testimonies in order to get to the foundation or the crux of the matter. Sometimes the truth or the evidence that may turn the tide of the case in favor of the legal representative and his or her client is hidden underneath the surface and must be discovered through diligence and analytical skill. Related to the critical skill is the attention to detail, a skill that is necessary in order to sort through what may amount to a lot of information in order to get to the desired fact.

Another skill that a legal representative must have is the ability to negotiate, which may be required often during the duration of a case in order to arrive at the best outcome for the client. An example of where this skill might be necessary is during the process of mediation or during an arbitration where the parties to a dispute might decide to settle their case out of court. The skill may also be needed during an instance like the negotiation of the terms of a plea bargain on behalf of the client.

Research is an important skill that a legal representative must have, because such a representative must sort through precedents, statutory law and other forms like administrative law in order to find applicable law. Sometimes finding the appropriate or applicable case law may help the court in the favor of the representative’s client since courts are bound by the established decisions of appropriate jurisdiction. Also, a legal representative must be able to speak in an effective manner in order to maintain a good level of communication with both the clients and the court.

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