How to Become a Successful Solicitor
We may envy the lofty status of American solicitors, perhaps we will sigh about the status of the inferiority of Chinese solicitors，and the "Li Zhuang event" not long ago gave us a shadow to the legal profession in China. Indeed, in China, we solicitors need to survive in difficulty, and we should not only be competent and skillful, but also should learn to promote ourselves, to explore the case sources. After a year of trainee, I will soon become professional solicitor, and now I can not help thinking, how to become a successful solicitor? Here are some of my thoughts to share with you:
1. To become a successful solicitor requires a solid and comprehensive knowledge of law.
First we must be familiar with basic laws, master the "Civil Law", "Criminal Law", "Administrative Law" and some other substantive laws and the three major procedural laws. We should be proficient in the "Contract Law" and "Guarantee Law", "Marriage", "Labor Law" and so on, which are used regularly. We should aslo be familiar with local regulations, and administrative regulations issued by central ministries, ,and do apply the knowledge. We should think more and not feel ashamed to ask and learn from one's subordinates, and grasp the essence.
In addition to master the legal knowledge, solicitors should also know about economy, management and English and become a interdisciplinary talent. Solicitor ‘s career should be a career of experts, which like a person completely masters the principles and characters of a complex machine, fully aware of how to start the machine, how to manipulate the machine, and how to deal with emergency situations, otherwise no one will give the task to control this machine to this man.
Second, we must correctly understand the law, understand the legislative intent and purpose, and the true meaning of the main provisions, and understand the cause and effect, the illustration of legislation and so on. We can’t twist the laws based on our personal likes and dislikes, nor understand the law according to our personal interests. Solicitor must understand legal theory. This theory is not limited to pure academic knowledge, or book knowledge, it should be profound knowledge through extensive research on the law.
Third, we must execute the law seriously. In enforcing the law, we should be comprehensive and complete and can not beat a little discount. Solicitors also should be the vanguard to defend the law, and can not be influenced by for the private motion and the money, not interfered by the surroundings and, not bended by the power. We should be outspoken and wholehearted to the people.
I remember at the beginning of my trainee time, sometimes when some of my friends asked me some legal issues，I am not very clear about many legal relationships. Although I had learned many years of law, and passed the bar exam, the book knowledge is different from real life at all, Being aware of the problems, I started to learn carefully the cases doned by my former colleagues, and found my own lack of legal knowledge and found the related laws and regulations to enrich myself and improve my own. By one year’s study and accumulation, my own knowledge of law have been greatly improved.
2. To become a successful solicitor needs to have a strong marketing capability.
The well-known solicitors or experienced solicitors have a good fame, and do not worry about case sources, but if we trainee solicitor also do like this,, we may face life crisis in the future So we must be active, contact with potential customers actively, join some legal assistance activities voluntarily and give some legal advice to our friends for free etc, whih can make more people aware of your presence, know that you have the ability to help them. In the case handling process, we can communicate with our clients actively, and gradually integrate into the life cycle of the companies and enterprises .and provide overall solutions to our clients rather than waiting until the clients enter into legal proceedings.
(2) Expand our own social circle
Solicitors must be integrated into society to make more people know you're a solicitor, and be able to find you when necessary. So we trainee solicitors should participate more in social activities, such as participate in volunteer organizations, join some of the same circle of interests such as sports circle, tea circle, calligraphy associations, and travel enthusiasts circle, etc. which can allow more people to know you and become your friends, and thus find you when they are in trouble or in doubt and let you provide legal services. You can also use a variety of Alumni Association to expand their influence, know more friends, alumni, fellows and let more people know you, know you're a solicitor to grasp potential case sources.
(3) Find potential clients through various ways
Many solicitors now design and make their own personal website. Using web sites to provide some legal advice and legal advocacy is definitely a very good way to open up case sources. In addition, solicitors need to read newspapers and watch television regularly. When seeing the messages, we should contact the edit initiatively to recommend ourself We should not only do not talk about compensations, but also participate actively in the social hot cases, public interest litigation cases. Even that comment of a few words in the newspaper or showing your face on television is the accumulation and wealth. We can also use community services and legal assistance to expand our influence and find potential clients.
3. Become a successful solicitor, you must be good at communication and managing relationships.
(1) Be good at managing relationship with the clients
The law itself is a social relationship, we should be good at handling relationships in every part of the process when we provide legal services for the clients. When we accept the clients’ consultation, we should understand carefully the legal problems of the clients in ten minutes, and provide a solution for them in ten minutes either. We should learn to deal with clients relationships in the process of contacting with clients, and on the one hand, we are committed to clients’ service, consider clients’ thinking, and be anxious about clients’ anxiety . On the other hand, we have to maintain a proper distance with the client, to keep the friendship between gentlemen. Some solicitors merge with the clients and become friends with them, and finally out of loyalty, even don’t charge the legal fees. In the whole process of handling the case, we should take the initiative and keep in touch with the clients, and in some periods which needs to wait, we should keep communication with the clients, and let them eliminate worries and misunderstandings of us. When we received the judgment and verdict, we should inform the clients at the first time and give opinions and suggestions to them for further actions.
(2) Be good at managing the relationship between public power authorities
In the process we provide legal services, we usually have to face such public power authorities like the court, the procuratorate, public security bureau, business administration and other authorities. As a solicitor well-known to law, we should not break the law and do something illegal. It’s acceptable to discuss and explore the case itself with the public power authorities, and even making friends with them to some extent. But we should keep vigilance to our words and deeds, and do not do illegal things. Currently, if the judges and other public authority staffs have some problems, they will bring out a large of solicitors. We have to use our acquired legal knowledge for servicing our clients, if we encounter the improper interference and intervention from the public authorities, we have to take the legal means and normal means to fight for our rights.
(3) Be good at managing the relationship with other solicitors
In the beginning of our practice, we may have chance to cooperate with some senior solicitors or become a member of them, then we must learn to be active and positive at this time. On one hand, we should actively consult to senior solicitors, to learn and study hard, and think more, ask more, On the other hand, we are in the team, we must do more and run errands more, and don’t be afraid of hard work, can not bargain, say conditions and can not fuss too much. As a young solicitor, giving us things to do is helping us . We can not eager for instant success and quick profits to talk about repay or just want to take money without work.
4. To become a successful solicitor, we should improve our overall quality
(1) To improve our language and writing skills
Language is a tool for communication. As a solicitor, we need to express smoothly, clarify our ideas, and illustrate the issues clearly and make good combination with silence and eloquent. In processing the cases, a solicitor with eloquence and thought can give breathtaking impact to his client and the opposing solicitors. Of course, this effect also applies to the court because the judges will have great respect for this kind of solicitors. As they know what these solicitors say really mean something and have profound law basis. The judges know what these solicitors say will not waste the court’s time, and they will get maximum help from them. Solicitor is a social job and need to communicate more with people Solicitors shall have certain literary cultivation, as the drafting of legal instruments has its unique rules. The legal instruments written by solicitors should really been come from the hands of professionals. The solicitors should have some writing skills, which are as important as oral language skills. Solicitor's language should be able to clearly express them and they should constantly cultivate the use of colorful expressions, and the expressions must be unique. Excellent verbal is a passport to success for a solicitor.
(2) To improve our personal qualities and foster self-confidence
Everyone has their own personality and characteristics, but some people give others good impression, some not so good. As a solicitor, we should have our own personal charisma, When meeting with our clients for the first time, we must give a very professional and dedicated impression to them. Only in this way can the clients trust us and give the case to us. This of course requires us to be confident, to believe our ability, and believe our professional and can provide the best service for the clients. Of course, confidence comes from accumulation, only when we have solid knowledge and experience, we will be full of confidence. While to the trainee solicitor, our experience is not so rich, but we also should believe that we can provide quality service to our clients with the help of our team.
5. To become a successful solicitor, we need to have good professional ethics
As a solicitor, we must have good professional ethics and integrity. Honesty is first to a solicitor. Honesty is the basic moral and legal request to solicitors, and is the lifeline of the activities of solicitors. It requires solicitors to provide legal services for clients with fair, sincere and credit. Solicitor is “Law Teacher” who takes law as profession and rule as teacher. We must practice with honesty and standard to obtain the client's respect and trust, otherwise, we will lose the trust of clients, and damage the image of solicitors. It will not be advocated for those solicitors who are perfunctory on entrusted matters, slack, and even charge fees but do not work and have unfair competition with excessive advertising, derogatory to others, low prices and other means. We can’t provide false evidence, or induce a person to provide false evidence, provide false legal opinions in handling cases. All these acts not only violate the solicitor's professional ethics and discipline, but also seriously affecte the image of solicitors.
Solicitor is a word with sanctity and solemn. and solicitors have also been deemed as a talisman of justice and fair stepping stone. The solicitor shoulders the important task of safeguarding the people's lives and properties and achieving social justice. When seeking our own value, we should also unify our own value and social value. We must be strict with ourselves, constantly improve our professional level and service level, create our own brand and influence, and strive to be a qualified and even excellent solicitor. On our way to success, we may encounter setbacks and hardship, however, as long as we make unremitting efforts and march forward courageously, we shall come through all difficulties and achieve great success!
Guangdong Right Word Law Firm
Trainee Solicitor: Zhou Zhixiu