Clients are drawn to confident attorneys. Confidence in the courtroom may add an edge to your level of persuasion. But confidence is a slippery slope; make sure your self-confidence never approaches arrogance.

When talking with clients, if you find yourself rambling on about how you won this case or that case, and how this case is a slam dunk, you may have crossed the line. Clients want to believe in their counsel, but an overconfident attorney is hard to relate to. Excessive puffery can alienate clients and make you seem out of touch with client goals.

In the courtroom, arrogance is deadly. Dismissing a question from a judge as irrelevant may torpedo your case. Every argument has a weakness, and dismissing a weakness can undermine the strongest of arguments. To a degree, this is audience dependent. But credibility with the judiciary is your most important asset. Admitting faults can enhance your credibility and does not equate to a lack of confidence in your case.

Keep a level head. If you find yourself thinking you are coming across as overconfident, you probably are.

(photo: Igor Bespamyatnov)

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