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How to become a successful lawyer



How to become a Successful lawyer: What you should know.

Being a lawyer and being a successful lawyer are entirely poles apart. You become a lawyer the day you are called to Bar. What you do afterwards determine whether you are going to be a successful lawyer or not.

It will also determine whether the society will view you as having succeeded in the legal profession and in life generally or not.

Being a successful lawyer also depends on your mindset and what you consider to be success.


The road to successful legal life is not an easy one. Some lawyers end up becoming distinguished members of the Bar like Senior Advocate”.

Some end up as lecturers and professors in reputable universities. Some lawyers end up becoming renowned magistrates, Judges and justices of Superior Courts.

Some lawyers as well work Successfully in different government agencies as legal officers, while some are employed as legal advicers of different top companies and corporations.

Regardless of where you intend to be, one thing is certain. “You want to be successful in the legal profession”

Life of a junior lawyer and Senior Lawyer are not same.

Immediately after your call to Bar, you are deemed to be a junior lawyer for up to 7 years post call in some jurisdiction like Nigeria. During this time, a junior lawyer attaches himself in a senior lawyer’s office to get more knowledge and experience, to be able to survive the storm of law practice.

During this time, you practically depend on your principal for upkeep money. Some chambers pay insignificant sum to their juniors as salaries, while some law offices don’t pay at all.

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Whenever you go to court, you will be given little token from the appearance you made in court. Life goes on. This is why most junior lawyers cannot afford a car of their own, until they start having their personal briefs.

You need money
You need money

The greatest need of a junior lawyer is money and experience.

Chosing a law firm is an important aspect of a junior lawyer’s life. While it is good you chose a reputable law firm, it is also good, you consider the financial capacity of the law firm.

Consider also the case volume in the law firm, the number of lawyers in the office. The number of lawyers in the office determine whether you will be given brief to handle or not, You may end up escorting other seniors to court without any role to play.

You need a suitable law firm that can take care of you financially and give you the exposure you need. You need the freedom to go to court and test your advocacy skills.

Good reputation

Make sure to keep your Reputation spotless.

Never put yourself in a position where you will be charged or accused of felonies, midemeanor, or even a simple offence. Imagine a lawyer being accused of raping a 12 year old girl, what impression do you think potential client will form of you?

Never you be accused of misappropriation of money or negligence in the course of your representation of a client.

An allegation of any type whether true or not, will jeopardize your career. Put your reputation first, before you speak, or act.

Always have alternative means of livelihood.

As I said before, unless you are born into a wealthy family, you are going to struggle financially as a junior lawyer. The money you will be getting, won’t be enough to settle your bill and take care of your beloved ones.

You must find a business to venture into. Though, in some jurisdiction, some professional Rules restrict lawyers from going into the business of buying and selling, but you can register a business and employ others to run it for you.

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Again, learn a skill. Digital skill preferably would assist you. There are lawyers who are doing well in the blogging arena, digital marketing, affiliate marketing, crypto or Fx trading etc. You can make a living through digital skill.

When you have alternative means of livelihood:

  • You won’t be in a haste to accept any bidding of a client. You will be able to maintain a standard charge.
  • You will always be in charge of negotiation because you are not afraid to work away.

You need to think About acquiring more knowledge and skill.

In one of the things you can do after law school, we noted that you can go for your master and PH. D, if you have the financial power to do that. You can go for your master especially if you are dreaming to become a lecturer. With your master, and Doctorate degree, you are prepared to get your dream teaching job.

You cannot be a successful lawyer, unless you have a social skill.

A lawyer’s life is centered around people. The more people you know the more chances of having briefs. But if you are not social, no one will know you are a lawyer, and you will die with your knowledge.

Knowing people is not enough you must have skill.

People can easily come to you, knowing that you are a lawyer. But your display of expertise and professionalism will keep them. It will equally make them to recommend their friends to you, because you have earned their trust. This is how your client base will grow.

Every senior lawyer, started from the grass root to cultivate this habit and eventually became popular.

There are personal qualities you need. We actually highlighted this in our qualities of a good advocate. Most of this qualities include:

  • the ability to listen
  • the ability to read and make reseaches, analyze facts
  • the ability to speak fluently and meaningfully etc.
You need a car
A good car will help

You need a Car.

As surprising as this may sound, legal profession is the most competitive profession in the world. The way you carry yourself as a lawyer matters. This reflect in your dressing, your comportment, and your involvement in societal issues.

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But above this, you need a car. Trekking as a lawyer is bad for business. In the same way, entering public transport is bad as well.

Consider a lawyer who treks and a lawyer that goes to court on venza. If you are a client, who would you approach when you have a serious legal problem?

A car is an asset to a lawyer. There is this invincible respect you command from a client when you arrive in court with car. It shows the class of lawyer you are. It speaks for you even before the security agencies.

Exercise everyday

Take Care of your Health

You need quality food and exercise to be mentally and bodily fit. Rather than spending your money on hospital bills and drugs, you need to spend money on yourself. Eat, work and sleep, that you may not breakdown.

Stick to your Faith

A lawyer’s life is centered around disputes. As much as there are factors that a man can determine, there are factors that a man cannot control.

One of the fundamental things you need first, is the gift of life and good health. Both are gift from God. While you hope to be successful, hold firm your religious faith. Pray to God for life, pray for good health and wisdom to succeed in your chosen career.

Whether you like it or not, there are two forces that hold the world. Whatever you belief in, hold to it. There are jealousy associated with legal profession. With God, you will overcome.

The bitter truth

The bitter truth is that you must not practice law. Some persons are born with the advocacy skills. Some persons are passionate learn it. Law practice is all about passion. if you are not passionate about practice, you may consider other things that you are passionate about.

You will surly find fulfillment going after your dream of singing, dancing, writing, etc than wasting your life in profession that you are not going to do well.


Regardless of your high expectations in the profession, am sure you want to succeed in legal profession, not minding the level of competition in the labour market, and not Minding the societal expectation.

To me, I just want to be a sound lawyer, sound in reasoning, sound in argument, fluent in speech, convincing by my dressing and representation. This is what I considered to be part of success.

I also wish to make a living from the profession I have passion for.

Success is a personal stuff. I trust you have all the qualities in the world to succeed, only if you are successful.


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2 thoughts on “How to become a successful lawyer

  1. Orji Ifeanyi Uduma says:

    This Legal profession is a prestigious and competitive one and it takes given it your all to stand out in this profession.
    Thank you for this beautiful article

    1. Barr.Ngwu Michael says:

      Thank you my G

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