Advocacy Tips for Female Trial Lawyers - Sara Williams ESQ

Advocacy Tips for Female Trial Lawyers

July 7, 2021

Women in law is a concept used to define the role women lawyers play in the legal space. This includes female attorneys called to the American Bar Association, whether in private practice or not. There are also paralegals, prosecutors, legal scholars, law professors, and female trial judges. Unfortunately, the practice of law isn’t easy for female trial lawyers worldwide, even in common law jurisdictions and civil law jurisdictions. The situation is often worse for women of color.

Trial lawyers, especially defense attorneys, require effective advocacy skills. Female trial lawyers can get the necessary training through advocacy programs. However, access to such advocacy is challenging for many trial lawyers. That’s why it’s great news that Sara Williams has some resources to aid women in law become better advocates. If you can access her repository of tips, you can become a great female trial advocate.

What Would Make You a Good Trial Advocate?

Advocacy Tips for Female Trial Lawyers

The first tip for female trial lawyers is to know what makes a great trial advocate. Whatever skills good advocates require will work for both male and female trial lawyers. Firstly, it’s essential to know that you must pass the bar examination to practice as a lawyer. Secondly, you can go into private practice as a trial lawyer or work for the government as a prosecutor.

Furthermore, trial lawyers require skills that lawyers practicing in other fields don’t need. Therefore, if you imbibe the skills below, you’ll make a good trial advocate.

Issue Spotting 

The first skill you need in legal advocacy is the ability to identify legal issues. When clients come to you with their problems, they often don’t know what area of the law concerns their case. Frequently, they only know that someone hurt or wronged them. Therefore, it rests on trial lawyers to identify under what area of law a client’s case falls. Furthermore, they’ll have to spot the various legal issues that arise from the action the client is complaining about.

Experienced attorneys can pick out legal issues just as the complainant is speaking. They’ll consider the client’s story from different angles before concluding. Issue spotting is essential because it determines where and how you file a lawsuit. Finally, pinpointing the accurate area of law will help determine the Statute of Limitations on the case. This will help you know how fast to proceed with an advocacy assignment.

Great Communication Skills

All forms of advocacy, especially trial advocacy, require that you communicate with people. In court, you’re communicating with the judge and jury if it’s a trial by jury. Even in remote hearings, you still have to speak to people. Therefore, what you say and how you say it affects your client’s case.

It means that you must have a strong command of the English language. Moreover, it would also help to know how to connect with your audience. For instance, in civil jury trials, you have to connect to the jury. You can lose a trial by jury if the jury doesn’t relate to your client’s story.

Quick Thinking

For female trial lawyers, a lot happens at the spur of the moment. For instance, the trial judge may require you to address an issue you didn’t include in your brief. Something else may also come up in the course of cross-examination. Therefore, female lawyers must learn how to think on their feet. They must remain focused in the face of fazing questions and speak well to address issues. So, if you have to consult books and other materials before tackling legal questions, you may not make a good trial lawyer.

Are Male Lawyers Better Advocates Than Female Attorneys?

Ordinarily, we shouldn’t have to compare female attorneys with their male counterparts. Since both genders passed the bar examination and other qualifying requirements, they should no longer be judged based on gender. Instead, trial lawyers should be judged based on the results they get for their clients.

One crucial issue is the fact that many female lawyers earn lower than their male counterparts. Surprisingly, a 2018 report showed that if women were adequately rewarded for their efforts in the legal sector, they’d earn significantly more than their male counterparts.

Are There Any Advantages to Hiring Female Lawyers?

Yes, there are great benefits to engaging a female lawyer in your case. For instance, in sexual assault matters, it’ll be best if you hire a female attorney for legal representation. Since females primarily suffer from assault and harassment, women lawyers will relate more to your case than men.

Furthermore, they also don’t need extra motivation to win. The thought of putting away a sexual predator is sufficient encouragement to win your case. The same principles and benefits also apply in domestic violence cases.

Female Attorneys in Family Law Disputes

Advocacy Tips for Female Trial Lawyers

Since women, especially women of color, suffer the most in family disputes, it may help your case if you hire a female lawyer. Instinctively, a woman lawyer would want to protect her fellow woman, especially if there’s family violence. Furthermore, they’ll work hard to ensure that you get the best possible deal in divorce cases.

Female attorneys will most likely advise you to reject a divorce settlement that doesn’t sufficiently benefit you. Finally, if you don’t want an aggressive family battle in trial courts, a female lawyer is still your best bet. They can understand your reasons and employ negotiation skills to get you the peaceful resolution you desire.

Further Reasons To Hire a Female Lawyer

Women lawyers aren’t only good at domestic violence and family law disputes. There are many other reasons why hiring a female attorney is a great decision. They include:

  • Women are great listeners
  • Women lawyers also know the law
  • Women lawyers have great networking and social skills
  • Women can soften arguments
  • Women can prioritize and multitask
  • Women also have the tenacity that makes them not relax until they get positive results

How Do I Advocate for Women Lawyers’ Rights?

Previously, men and even some women denied the existence of discrimination against women in law. However, the world is fast moving past this stage. The discriminatory practices are too evident for anyone to deny them. Therefore, the discussion has now moved on to how the legal community can help soften the plight of women in law.

Below are some steps to take if you want to become a women’s rights advocate.

Speak Out

Advocacy is primarily speaking against injustices. So, the first means of advocating for women’s rights in the legal space is to speak about them. In speaking, you’ll have to condemn all forms of gender discrimination that you notice. Whether it’s speaking to your colleagues, bosses, or the very perpetrators, your voice can considerably stem the rise of gender discrimination.

The fear of not going far in private practice shouldn’t stop you from doing the right thing. Moreover, by speaking out, you’re essentially creating awareness of the wrongs meted out to women. Furthermore, you’re also letting the perpetrators know how adversely it affects women.

Legislative Advocacy

Laws are one way that you can advocate for women’s rights, including that of lawyers. Laws that plug the gender pay gap and ensure that women earn what they deserve will help women greatly. Furthermore, judicial advocacy is essential too. Laws mean nothing if trial courts wouldn’t enforce them.

Therefore, judges, especially female judges, need to be at the forefront of advocating for women lawyers’ rights. For instance, judges shouldn’t set impossible standards of proof whenever women are bold enough to approach the courts for recourse.

Use Advocacy Organizations

Many nonprofit organizations have been formed to further advocate for the rights of women. Therefore, it would help if you can encourage any women you know to join these groups. You can also sponsor such organizations since they’re not profit-oriented.

It could be a legal resource center on violence against women. Conversely, it could be a professional association – a dedicated community of trial lawyers fighting for justice for other women. It doesn’t have to be a formal organization. 

There are several benefits to belonging to such groups. For instance, women lawyers can gain strength and inspiration to withstand gender discrimination. Furthermore, these professional associations can also promote access to justice for suffering women. This will be the case where they have a standing trial team for these issues. Finally, they could also organize resources that help women lawyers get better at their jobs.

There are many other things you can do for women’s rights advocacy, including:

  • Donating to the cause
  • Learning and standing up for your rights
  • Educating the next generation of lawyers (male and female) on gender equality
  • Supporting women around you
  • Not contributing to the already existing discrimination against women lawyers
Advocacy Tips for Female Trial Lawyers

Sara Williams Can Help You Become a Great Trial Advocate

Becoming an excellent trial advocate shouldn’t be this hard for women lawyers. Unfortunately, that’s the current state of the world and the legal system. However, things can get better through consolidated action. If you’re a female lawyer that wants to get better, in public or private practice, there’s hope for you.

Sara Williams has a large repository of materials for the development of women lawyers in America. If you diligently use these available resources, you can overcome the obstacles on your way to becoming an excellent trial advocate. Contact us today for more information.

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