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Effective Lawyering Skills

List of 26 Effectiveness Factors with 8 Umbrella Categories  
Marjorie M. Shultz and Sheldon Zedeck, Predicting Lawyer Effectiveness: Broadening the Basis for Law School Admissions Decisions, LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY, JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION, Vol.36, Issue 3, 620, 661 (2011) 

In a study completed by academics Marjorie M. Schultz and Sheldon Zedeck, twenty-six (26) factors were identified as most important to lawyering effectiveness. The study was conducted over a period of years and included interviews and focus groups that involved law students, lawyers,  judges, professors, and some clients.  These factors are the key skills that made attorneys effective in practice. Those 26 factors appear below under eight umbrella categories. 

Consider the inclusion of these factors as part of your presentation/interview to provide practice specific applications of these skills.

Intellectual & Cognitive 

  • Analysis and Reasoning
  • Creativity/Innovation
  • Problem Solving
  • Practical Judgment

Research & Information Gathering 

  • Researching the Law
  • Fact Finding
  • Questioning and Interviewing


  • Influencing and Advocating
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Listening

Planning and Organizing 

  • Strategic Planning
  • Organizing and Managing One’s Own Work
  • Organizing and Managing Others (Staff/Colleagues)

Conflict Resolution 

  • Negotiation Skills
  • Able to See the World Through the Eyes of Others

Client & Business Relations - Entrepreneurship 

  • Networking and Business Development
  • Providing Advice & Counsel & Building Relationships with clients

Working with Others 

  • Developing Relationships within the Legal Profession
  • Evaluation, Development, and Mentoring


  • Passion and Engagement
  • Diligence
  • Integrity/Honesty
  • Stress Management
  • Community Involvement and Service
  • Self-Development