Contrary to popular belief, there’s more to becoming a successful attorney than going through several years of education and passing the bar exam. There are certain traits required if an attorney expects to win cases for families. While some of them can be learned, others are innate. Here are three of the most important characteristics of a successful family law attorney.

People Skills

While virtually all attorneys need solid people skills, family lawyers need them more than most. In addition to dealing with judges, clients, witnesses, paralegals and others with every case, a Jacksonville family law firm attorney frequently has to deal with members of the same feuding family, including children.

Being a people person is not just about knowing how to talk to, and make jokes with, people. The true test is being able to read the situation accurately. People skills pertain to interpreting others’ actions, body language and facial expressions, as well as identifying the best way to get your message across to myriad audiences.

Family lawyers in particular need to be able to handle difficult emotions and delicate situations, too. Being well-versed in empathy, patience and understanding is imperative.

Working Well Under Pressure

Any attorney will likely admit that working well under pressure is one of the most important character traits that he or she must have. There are long hours and deadlines to meet. Attorneys are expected to cross-examine witnesses, which requires thinking on one’s feet. They have not only the expectations of the client and his or her family, but also the responsibility to win the case.

What’s more, successful family law attorneys must handle themselves with tact and compassion despite these abundant stressors. Being able to keep a cool head and a clear mind is crucial.

Listening and Thinking Critically

In order to win cases, family law attorneys are required to listen well. This also includes being observant and thinking critically in unexpected situations. Courtroom happenings are often unpredictable, and it’s in those situations that attorneys can thrive if they’re able to listen well and think fast.

It takes a certain kind of person to succeed as a family law attorney. Having the ability to carefully and considerately deal with people, handle even extreme pressure well, and quickly process astute observations is essential for success.