Litigation attorneys must develop both general skills and specific substantive areas of expertise. General skills include:

Litigation, Legal Practice Area
 
  • Legal research;
  • Conducting discovery;
  • Taking and defending depositions;
  • Preparation of witnesses;
  • Persuasive writing skills;
  • Motion practice;
  • Trial experience; and
  • Appellate experience.

A more junior litigation attorney’s resume will usually reflect skills primarily in legal research or discovery matters, particularly in document review, which is a particular subset of discovery. As lawyers advance in their careers, they will gain responsibility for more sophisticated writing projects and more complex litigation tasks.

For example, as an attorney develops, he or she will likely have skill sets that reflect drafting summary judgment motions and other significant motion work before the court. Likewise, taking and defending depositions and appearing in court at hearings mark a more accomplished litigator.