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By Charles L. Babcock
The author is with Jackson Walker LLP, Houston.
There’s a saying that great trial lawyers have a massive ego hanging by a thread over a sea of insecurity. There’s some truth to this. You must have some confidence in your abilities to convince clients to entrust their financial well-being, their reputations, and, in some instances, their lives to your counsel. And not everyone is cut out to perform before judges and jurors when the stakes are high. So trial lawyers must have healthy egos.
But the great ones are always doubting themselves and looking for validation in the courthouse. Some of that comes with experience, of course, but, in every case, you face an inscrutable group of jurors who don’t laugh at your jokes and invariably fail to give you a bump or a high five when you score a major point.