Heather Hansen

A Great Lawyer Knows the Jury

I often tell clients “a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the jury”. When I was a young lawyer, one of my clients gave me a paperweight. It said “A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge.” And I was shocked. That was not justice! Winning and losing should be about what you knew and now who you knew. This paperweight had to be wrong.

And it was, in part. The truth is the best way to win a case is to know the law, the facts, but most of all to know the jury. When you know your jury, you know their perspective. And when you know the jury’s perspective, you know how to change it. What you see impacts what you think, feel, do and get. So if you can change what someone sees, you can change what you get. An advocate publicly supports something, and to get that support you might have to change what the jury sees. A great advocate knows her jury.

This applies outside the courtroom as well. Now I work with clients to give them the tools to advocate for themselves and their big ideas. We work to identify their “jury” of clients, customers, team members or students and then to see things through that jury’s perspective. My clients soon realize that my paperweight applies to them as well.

A good salesperson knows his product, but a great one knows his customers. A good financial service professional knows her numbers, but a great one knows her clients and their dreams. While a good real estate professional knows houses, a great one knows what makes her client’s house a home. And a good teacher knows his lesson plan, but a great one knows his students.

Want to go from good to great? Go from knowing about the things you work with to knowing about the people you serve.

Heather Hansen

Subscribe to Heather’s newsletter, connect with her on social media or purchase one of her books.