• Confidence is not only the best defense, but the best offense an attorney can have.
  • In fact, keeping your confidence can do well to help you survive law firm life.
  • Learn why lawyers lose their confidence and why you need to keep yours at all costs.

Summary: Learn why so many attorneys lose their confidence and why protecting your confidence will allow you to succeed when others around you fail.

Learning to protect your confidence will allow you to succeed when other attorneys around you fail.

There is no profession that crushes human confidence more than the legal profession. An attorney’s confidence is under a consistent prolonged assault at every level of the process – from starting law school, to getting an initial job, to remaining employed as an associate, to making partner at a firm. Very few attorneys are able to practice law for their entire careers with their confidence intact.

To cope with this prolonged attack on their confidence, many attorneys do things like:
  Confident attorneys are so far and few between that I can think of only one truly confident lawyer. He works in Los Angeles. I think that someone ought to do a study about him. I honestly cannot figure him out. He is legitimately confident.
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes

“It’s just his exterior,” someone who knows him has told me. “You just need to crack his exterior and then he is a baby underneath.”
I am not sure. Besides this particular attorney in Los Angeles, the majority of attorneys I know who have been practicing for more than a few years are just steps away from breaking down, curling up in a fetal position and crying. I’m not kidding. The confidence crushing blows of the legal profession appear to be too much for most attorneys to handle.
Paradoxically, confidence is the most important characteristic for an attorney to possess in order to be successful. An attorney needs confidence to represent clients, to act “tougher” against opponents, to push through when under assault in court or at the negotiating table and more. The most important characteristic any attorney can have is confidence and it is because of this that the ways in which we screen, train and develop attorneys are so harsh. As a Darwinian-type society, we put attorneys through extreme pressure in order to ensure that only the most confident attorneys rise to the top.