Attorney Martin Russo & Marlen Kruzhkov On What Makes A Great Attorney


New York based Partners, Attorney Martin Russo and Marlen Kruzhkov have thoughts on what it takes to be great attorneys – here are some other great quotes on the subject.

  • “The essence of becoming a great lawyer is realizing that it isn’t about you.” Paul Gilbert
  • “A good lawyer has to maintain independence and a reasonable degree of impartiality. Do speak up for your client, but don’t become the client’s mouthpiece.” Joseph N. Hosteny
  • “You can’t be afraid to break new ground. You also can’t be afraid to fail. You need a sense of being willing to step outside your comfort zone.” Jack Nelson
  • “Building a high level of trust with clients, judges, jurors and even opposing counsel is the cornerstone of effective representation.” Howard Scher
  • “When you are genuinely curious about people, when you listen attentively and allow them to be your teachers, you will naturally and easily master the critical skills you need to build a successful career in the law.” Rich Goldstein
  • “Great lawyers know the law, but they also know and understand the client’s business. Great lawyers know what makes the client successful and they understand the client’s preferred form of communication.” Jim Durham
  • “People need to know that you care about their problem. You need to genuinely care. Clients will not come back because you’re competent. They want to know you care.” Mike Brown
  •  “The best lawyers know that stories are interesting. Every case that ends up in court has a story; successful courtroom advocates focus on the story.” Mark Pierce
  •  “Great lawyers typically have a passion for a particular legal specialty or practice area, and master excellence as an expert, which fosters a high level of commitment to their work. They also understand their clients’ objectives, and advocate on that basis.” Jennifer Overhaus
  • “You have to become the best expert in your field, to be knowledgeable. But clients don’t pay for knowledge. They pay for great judgment, experience, creativity and problem-solving ability–things that are beyond what you learn in law books.” Mike Boone
  • “Being a great lawyer does not depend on the view from your office window but whether you can visualize what your client sees when they ask you for your help.” Paul Gilbert
  •  “Good lawyers make themselves available to you, and you should not have to beg them to talk with you.” Ken Lopez
  • “A real manager has a solution to each problem, a real lawyer has a problem to each solution.” Jean-Paul Blum
  •  “Good lawyers prepare for everything they do. When they meet with the client, they have an agenda, and run a smooth, organized meeting. They think through their cases and projects, and tell their clients what the plan is, what to expect down the road, and what the possible results are.” Michael E. Upchurch
  • “The most effective litigators learn by instinct to translate mountains of structured and unstructured information into clear and decisive action, often in the heat of a trial.” Howard Scher
  • “Great lawyers personalize the relationship by recognizing the unique styles, interests, and needs of the individuals with whom they work.” Jim Durham
  • “A successful lawyer has to remember first and foremost that they are a service provider. They have to be a problem solver, be practical and understand a client’s business and their particular needs. We all get a good education and are intelligent.” Jack Nelson
  • “A good lawyer never asks a question in a trial without already knowing the answer, or knowing what to do if the witness springs a surprise answer. Don’t expect to be spontaneously brilliant.” Mark Pierce
  • “The most important skill for any lawyer with aspirations to be a great lawyer therefore is the ability to listen.” Paul Gilbert


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