Today’s meaning: “Skill and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues.”
Attentive reading and listening, counselling, analysing, negotiation, and incredible writing and speaking skills, are the things a lawyer must do with tact.
Since tact is knowing how to say things in the right way and therefore at the right time, it allows the lawyer to be much more connected with the client. Clients generally have little knowledge of their rights and of the law, which is why a lawyer must explain these in terms the client understands, with an appropriate tone and at a moment the client is more likely to fully understand and digest information.
Although lawyers at times need to make decisions fast and ask clients fast and often cold questions, if they do it with tact they’re more likely to get a much better quality response than if they didn’t. People need to be addressed to in the right manner so that they provide with what’s needed.
Emotions play a key role in anything a lawyer has to deal with as the client most likely approached the lawyer for the first time in distress and with no idea of what could happen. This may range from deciding something for their company or the death of a loved one, all situations where the heart is on play.
A good lawyer does not only mean what they say but they also say what they mean. Changing stories or alibies is regarded as an act that may discredit the witness, prosecutor or defendant. Therefore, when the lawyer is defending their client they must stick to what has been said and explain themselves in the best way possible. In order to do this they need to do it with tact and feel what they’re saying so whatever consequence arises it wouldn’t be a surprise. However, it is not always easy to know what to say and how.