Editor’s note: This is the sixth article in a new nine-part series on how lawyers can resolve to work smarter this year, which is featured on lawjobs.com News & Views. Links to the previous articles in this series, as well as to articles in other series co-authored by Valerie Fontaine and Roberta Kass, follow this article.

Attorneys need relationship-building skills from day one. You need these capabilities to gain the respect and confidence of everyone, including firm colleagues, clients, potential clients, other lawyers, staff and judges. To succeed, you must get along with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Diligence and competence are givens, but personal qualities such as leadership, listening and communication skills, as well as organizational skills, are essential to progress in your legal career.