Date: November 22, 2023Attorney: Steven I. Adler

If you’re contemplating a career in litigation or seeking to enhance your skills as a legal practitioner, this video titled “What Makes a Good Litigator?” by Steve Adler, Co-Chair of the Healthcare Litigation, Litigation, and Employment Practice Groups at Mandelbaum Barrett PC, is a must-watch. In a fast-paced legal landscape, it’s imperative to possess specific traits and strategies to excel in the field.

Key Traits for a Successful Litigator: Competitiveness, Strong Writing Skills, and Inquisitiveness

Steve Adler begins by emphasizing the importance of competitiveness, drawing parallels with athletes and individuals from individual sports backgrounds who tend to thrive in litigation. Litigation demands a relentless drive to win and an aversion to losing, making competitiveness a crucial trait.

Strong writing skills emerge as the next critical aspect. Litigators spend years honing their writing skills, crafting persuasive briefs, and filing motions. Contrary to common perception, courtroom appearances are often reserved for the final stages of a case. Thus, the ability to convey your argument effectively on paper is paramount.

In the legal world, being inquisitive is a valuable quality. Steve underscores that good litigators prioritize both strong writing skills and inquisitiveness. Sharp writing skills ensure that you don’t need to constantly rewrite others’ work, while an inquisitive nature aids in comprehending clients’ businesses and asking pertinent questions.

Understanding the facts and being inquisitive are fundamental qualities for a successful litigator. Litigation can sometimes lead to settlement, even if it’s not directly linked to the original case. Steve advocates for discovering additional litigation opportunities and pursuing them, as this can expedite settlements and yield favorable outcomes.

The video delves into the importance of being detail-oriented and well-organized in litigation. Document management software has streamlined the process of accessing and reviewing vast amounts of information. Even in smaller cases, litigators must handle text messages and emails as evidence, highlighting the need for meticulous organization.

Communication and the ability to synthesize information are indispensable skills for litigators. Organizational capabilities and effective synthesis are crucial in presenting cases convincingly. Examining the weaknesses of your case and the strengths of the opposing side is key to understanding and preparing better.

In addition to these traits, litigators need to be well-versed in business acumen, negotiation skills, and computer proficiency. Business savvy is essential, particularly in commercial litigation, where a deep understanding of the business context is vital. Negotiation skills are indispensable for resolving disputes effectively, while computer proficiency is crucial for managing electronic discovery and producing requested information accurately.

The video concludes by discussing general characteristics for becoming a good litigator, which include accumulating experience in a particular area of law and mastering the nuances of each case to litigate effectively.