Need an attorney in Cape Town? Make sure they have these 10 qualities

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Are you looking for a Cape Town law firm to assist with your legal matter? How do you choose between attorneys? They will all tell you they are the best. But there are certain skills and qualities that set a great law firm apart from the merely good. When you’re deciding whom to trust with your legal problem, ask yourself if they exhibit these 10 traits.

1. Specialist knowledge

All lawyers know the law, right? Wrong. “The law” is vast. No one can memorise every piece of legislation on the books. Just as doctors specialise in certain types of medicine, lawyers also develop specialist expertise in a few fields of the law. In addition to targeting certain areas of practice, a good lawyer is an expert in research. Knowing where to find information and how to apply case law is more important than knowing the statute books off by heart.

SD Law is a Cape Town law firm with expertise in the areas of the law that impact on ordinary people’s lives the most – family law, including antenuptial contracts, divorce and parenting issues; rental housing; and criminal defence. We also have attorneys with specialist knowledge of liquor licensing, property conveyancing, contract law, and wills and estate planning.

2. Experience

There’s no substitute for experience. Our legal framework is built on the outcomes of previous cases. The more cases a lawyer has handled, the greater their understanding and working knowledge of their field. Feel free to ask us about our past outcomes. We’re also happy to share testimonials from previous clients.

3. Integrity

Lawyers should uphold the law, not look for ways to circumvent it. There’s no room for “Better Call Saul” in real life. A good lawyer will respect you, your circumstances, and your dignity, whatever information you disclose. At Cape Town law firm SD Law, we treat all our clients with recognition, respect and ethical responsibility.

4. Empathy

Anyone can sympathise with you, but a good lawyer will have empathy. This is the ability to truly understand what you are going through, and not just show pity. At SD Law attorneys in Cape Town, we pride ourselves on our emotional intelligence. But don’t take our word for it. Read what our clients say on the matter.

5. Responsiveness

If you’re faced with a legal problem, you want it solved now…or preferably yesterday! You’re concerned, anxious, possibly frightened. You need an attorney who takes your phone calls or, if that’s not possible, calls you back promptly. You don’t want to wait days for an answer to your emails. Cape Town attorney SD Law will respond to an initial query within 24 hours. Existing clients can expect an even swifter response. In the case of an urgent matter, for example child abduction or a bail requirement, you will receive priority treatment.

6. Trustworthiness

Trust is the foundation of the lawyer-client relationship. Everything you tell us is in the strictest confidence, and we guard your trust at all times. We believe in establishing rapport with our clients and making you feel at ease, even before we delve into the details of your case. You can trust us with your sensitive situation, and in turn we trust you to give us all the facts.

7. Affordability

Our fees depend on the complexity of the case. For some matters, an hourly rate may be appropriate. In other cases, we may suggest a fixed fee that covers everything. This fee allows you to contact us as often as necessary, within reason, without the fear of being charged for every attendance or discussion. Cape Town attorney SD Law prides itself on transparency and accountability. There are no hidden costs and no nasty surprises in the form of unexpected invoices for amounts you haven’t agreed to.

8. Communication skills

Lawyers spend a lot of time writing, so it’s obvious their written communication skills must be well developed. They need to be able to write clearly and concisely. Using a lot of legal jargon does not make a better lawyer; the ability to explain the complexities of the law in plain English is what matters. An attorney needs to be able to argue a case before a judge or magistrate and therefore must have public speaking skills. But possibly the most important communication skill is listening. At SD Law in Cape Town, before we represent your case, we listen carefully to what you tell us.

9. Analytical skills

Closely allied to communication skills are analytical skills. While we are listening to your problem, we are absorbing a large amount of information. When our consultation is finished, we then distil it into something manageable and logical. Sometimes, there may be more than one legal solution to an issue, or more than one precedent that could be applied. Our ability to analyse and evaluate alternatives is key to our successful outcomes.

10. Good judgement

Finally, once we have listened, analysed and evaluated all the information, we must make a judgement. The capacity to draw reasonable, logical conclusions from (sometimes limited) information is essential to lawyers. We also need to stand back and review our judgements objectively, to anticipate potential areas of weakness in our argument and rectify them before we go public. Likewise, we need to spot the weak points in an opposition’s argument, so we can turn them to your advantage. Good judgement includes decisiveness. We make important judgement calls quickly when swift action is essential.

If you want to know more…

Simon Dippenaar & Associates is a Cape Town law firm offering highly personalised legal attention with commitment and discretion. Call attorney Simon Dippenaar on 086 099 5146 or email for more information about how we can help you with your legal matter.

Image of attorney Simon Dippenaar and Associates staff
Cape Town Law Firm Simon Dippenaar & Associates
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The information on this website is provided to assist the reader with a general understanding of the law. While we believe the information to be factually accurate, and have taken care in our preparation of these pages, these articles cannot and do not take individual circumstances into account and are not a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal matter that concerns you, please consult a qualified attorney. Simon Dippenaar & Associates takes no responsibility for any action you may take as a result of reading the information contained herein (or the consequences thereof), in the absence of professional legal advice.

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