Does the public realize how few cases go to trial in our society? Trials are hard to come by. Most cases in state court are settled outside of court and most civil cases in federal court are thrown out by judges, or settled. Lawyers who have had only a handful of civil trials refer to themselves as "trial lawyers" even though they are not. To advance and become a skilled trial lawyer takes years upon years of learning and practice. A trial lawyer has a set of facts, determines how to tell the facts in a cogent story, is prepared to deal with the parts of the story the opponent wants to emphasize, figures out the order of evidence, themes, who will testify and how to show the story in an interesting and convincing way. The lawyer is part-screen-writer, along with the witnesses, director, conductor, part narrator, part producer, and part actor, all while in a competition akin to a blood sport. Being a trial lawyer is not suitable the the weak of heart or the overly self-conscious. Trying cases is the civil way to go to war.
Without years of experience, a quick mind, incredible preparation, real self-understanding and empathy, and the willingness to take unknown risks, one cannot call oneself a trial lawyer. This job is not for the weak of heart. This job is not for those unwilling to learn, self-examine, and become totally vulnerable. There are really few trial lawyers nowadays. I hate to think of trial lawyers as a dying breed. It's hard for clients to give up mediocre settlements when the risk can be losing.
There is no quick way to become a proficient civil trial lawyer. It requires very hard work, risking your client's and your own money and knowing sometimes you will lose and losing feels like dying. You want to get back on the horse to fix your mistakes and show what you have learned from losing. But you don't have a trial for awhile. Your client is devastated, both emotionally and financially, and, truth be told, so are you. But you get back on the horse, time and again, and if you are smart, and driven, and you care for your clients you keep at it and you face your demons and improve, knowing you will never be perfect. You will always learn more throughout your career.
If someone tells you that going to trial is easy, or not hard, they are selling you a bill of goods. Some lawyers try to bluff, and the bluffer make poor lawyers, let alone the kind you would Trudy yo try your case. All lawyers are not equal. All lawyers don't want to go to trial. Realize this. If you need a. Trial lawyer.