Psychology and the Law: Positive Lawyer Characteristics


According to a study on personal injury victim’s experiences with their lawyers, clients preferred five specific characteristics in their lawyers (Elbers, Wees, Akkermans, Cuijpers, & Bruinvels, 2012).

lawyerhandshake

1.      Good communication

Clients emphasized the importance of their lawyer’s providing information about the proceedings.  They desired an update every two months even if there was no new information to report.

2.      Empathy

Clients considered empathy as an important characteristic in a lawyer.  Since the client may be psychologically vulnerable due to the accident, they desired more of an empathetic stance in the beginning.  Later on, they were prepared for more business-like interactions.

3.      Decisiveness

Since lawyers may have an effect on the timing of the compensation process, clients preferred their lawyer to be decisive within the litigation process.

4.      Independence

Clients preferred their lawyer to have a sense of independence within the litigation process.

5.      Expertise

It was important to the client to hear about their lawyer’s expertise and experience with personal injury cases.

~Brooke Rideout~

Elbers, N. A., van Wees, K. C., Akkermans, A. J., Cuijpers, P., & Bruinvels, D. J. (2012). Exploring lawyer–client interaction: A qualitative study of positive lawyer characteristics. Psychological Injury And Law, 5(1), 89-94. doi:10.1007/s12207-012-9120-0

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Filed under Of Interest to Law Students, Psychology and the law, Student Information

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