Top Legal Recruiter Lists the Top 10 Characteristics of the Best Attorneys

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Legal recruiting expert offers his list of the characteristics that are associated with the best attorneys.

"The most important attribute of the best attorneys is their ability to identify with others and have empathy for their situations."

LawCrossing, one of the largest legal job boards on the Internet, recently published an article authored by legal recruiting veteran Harrison Barnes, in which Barnes lists the “Top 10 Characteristics of the Best Attorneys.” Barnes, in addition to owning successful legal recruiting companies and working in the field for 15 years, is also an attorney licensed to practice law in California. Based on his extensive knowledge of legal recruiting and his 20 year experience as an attorney, Barnes is well-suited to offer his insights, advice, and perspective on what qualities, traits, or achievements characterize the best attorneys.

According to Barnes, the most important attribute of the best attorneys is their ability to identify with others and have empathy for their situations. Barnes depicts the common scenario in law firms where attorneys have little contact with and are isolated from their clients. As a result, the risk is run that attorneys are disconnected from the needs of their clients due to a lack of interaction, which could negatively impact them if and when they make career choices that place them in more “face-to-face” encounters with their future clients. If an attorney is empathetic to the clients’ needs, beliefs, and troubles, the attorney will be able to better identify with the client, represent the clients’ interests more effectively, and maintain the clients’ faith in the attorney.

Barnes also emphasizes that the best attorneys have often overcome huge adversities in their lives. In his experience, Barnes has noticed that, of the many attorneys he has encountered, worked with, or hired, the best ones have had to endure incredible difficulties in their lives, including: broken homes, poverty, and abuse. Barnes refers to these adversities as “rocket fuel” that propels many of the best attorneys to work harder and be able to withstand more stress and pressure than other attorneys who have not been faced with such struggles.

Another characteristic on Barnes’ list that he believes is embodied by the best attorneys is a refusal to admit or show weakness. Barnes believes that attorneys must be strong for their clients and be willing to go to battle on behalf of their clients. If the attorney shows weakness, the opposing party will take advantage, which could detrimentally impact the client. The attorney must be confident, tough, and, in some cases, an intimidating force that can secure the best deal, recovery, or outcome for the client. Clients do not want timid, meek, or scared attorneys that can be easily bullied or harassed by the opposing party.

Barnes also refers to many conventional achievements that he believes characterize the best attorneys. For example, Barnes states that the best attorneys typically have worked for big law firms, did very well in law school, received high scores on the LSAT, and attended quality law schools. Of these characteristics, Barnes places a strong emphasis on the importance of having experience working at a big law firm. Barnes believes that attorneys who have worked for renowned law firms are better at problem-solving, better at analyzing complex legal issues, and have higher quality work product.

Throughout his article, Barnes offers other anecdotes and observations based on his extensive experience working in the legal community in order to show the reasoning behind his list of the characteristics of the best attorneys.

To read the full article of Barnes “Top 10 Characteristics of the Best Attorneys” visit

About LawCrossing:

LawCrossing is an affiliate of Employment Research Institute, a powerful and comprehensive organization dedicated to helping professionals, as well as first timers, find jobs that will enhance their careers. LawCrossing consolidates every legal job opening it can find in one convenient location. LawCrossing has been on the Inc. 500 twice. The website also offers a three-day free trial to new members.

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Andrew Ostler
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