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As a lawyer, you have the opportunity to pursue a variety of paths. There are an endless amount of types of law to practice; you simply need to decide which one you’d like to focus on during your career. It’s important to remember that you can always change your mind down the road. Becoming a lawyer takes a lot of hard work and means putting in plenty of time to hone your talents. No matter what type of law you go into, there are some key skills you’ll need to ultimately succeed as a lawyer.

Drive to work hard

Even during your undergraduate years, you’ll need to have a commitment to hard work. To start off on the best foot possible, you need to spend time in your undergraduate years planning for your career as a lawyer. Law school and your actual job means even more hard work, but it’ll all pay off in the end.

Skilled at research

Much of law school and eventually your time as an actual lawyer involves research. You will likely spend time working as a clerk and pursuing internships at law firms; you need to be able to conduct high quality research on a variety of topics and cases. Hone this skill as soon as possible; the easier it is for you to thoroughly conduct research, the more effective you’ll be as a lawyer.

Good communication

Whether you’re talking to clients, a jury, other lawyers, or even a judge, you need to have good communication skills as a lawyer. Understanding how to talk to and in front of people is vital regardless of the type of law you choose to go into. It’s important to have good written communication skills as well.

Great memory

If you’re going to be a trial lawyer, this skill is even more important. Being able to remember relevant research and general legal knowledge helps you stay on top of any job. Even if you do not have a fantastic memory, being able to write down pertinent information and use it has the same benefits.

Incredibly organized

As a lawyer, you’ll be pressed for time and often have a full caseload. A key skill in order to be successful as a lawyer is being incredibly organized. You need to be able to stay organized in your mind and at your desk. While not every single item needs to be perfectly in place, you need to know where everything you may need is. It’s also important to be able to properly organize your time. Staying on top of time management and prioritizing tasks is one of the most useful skills for a lawyer.

Analytical thought process

Law is very analytical; in order to do the best job possible, adopt this mindset. You can train yourself to approach problems more analytically and practice better techniques for problem-solving. Hone this skill in order to be as effective as possible.