Michael Ford (post until Oct. 31/19)

Lawyers and the art of conversation

Lawyers who are good conversationalists can more easily build their legal practices, Toronto criminal lawyer Aaron Harnett tells Lawyers Weekly.

In an article about the art of good conversation and its importance in the legal field, Harnett says lawyers need to approach each social interaction as a potential sales pitch.

"Many great sales people will tell you their pitch is really just a conversation," he says in the Lawyers Weekly piece.

"Lawyers don't recognize that they're sales people. Where they are poor conversationalists, they are likely to be poor sales people. Ultimately, sales is about conversation."

Lawyers can also be great conversationalists if they practise a type of law that requires interviewing people and paying attention to the answers, Harnett says.

"They have to keep the purpose of the conversation in mind when they're speaking to somebody in the same way they'd keep the purpose of a cross-examination in mind when talking to (the accused) in a bank robbery case," he says in Lawyers Weekly.

Harnett maintains in the article, however, that the art of conversation for many has died and people are only "kicking around the corpse" as they don't generally listen to the answers they get to the questions they ask.

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