Naturally, the ability to identify and compile information from an investigation is a great skill for a legal investigator to have, but it’s really just one trait out of many that are needed for success in this job.
Experience earned over time
Experience goes a long way for a legal investigator. To gain experience, you generally need some sort of training beforehand, such as a law enforcement job or a legal investigator certificate course. It’s much easier to get jobs and gain more experience along the way if you have something to offer right from the start. Work on sharpening all of your skills before you head out into the field to give yourself the best shot at success.
A high degree of professionalism
To be a great legal investigator, you need to remain professional at all times. This includes when dealing with the people who have hired you, testifying in court, doing trial preparation, and interacting with people associated with the case, such as witnesses. Part of your success will rest on your ability to establish a reputation of being professional and having integrity, so it’s important to remember that in everything you do. If people don’t trust you, they won’t trust in your abilities, either, and you will have trouble getting work.
Prompt and clear responsiveness
A legal investigator is expected to handle cases as efficiently and promptly as possible. You’ll need to be able to respond to phone calls and emails in a timely manner and keep the lines of communication open with all related parties in your case. Time management skills will go a long way here, so if yours aren’t up to par, it’s time to work on them.
The ability to innovate
As technology moves forward, the chances of solving a case have improved. An investigation will take less time and can be done more thoroughly if you’re willing to use all the resources available to you. Court records, special databases, driving records, employment history and more can be accessed via digital technology. However, there will still be times when an answer won’t be found on a computer and you’ll have to use your own creativity to get results. Be ready to think outside of the box but still within the law on some of your cases to be successful.
Being able to keep confidence
You’re not going to be bound by the same confidentiality rules as an attorney, but you still need to use discretion in your cases. An investigator who lets information out isn’t going to have a reputation as someone who can be trusted, especially with delicate or complex cases. It’s often wise to create your own rules for confidentiality internally so you have practices in place that will prevent information from leaking on your end.
A good deal of tenacity
As you investigate a case, you will encounter challenges and obstacles. A good legal investigator doesn’t give up when things don’t go as easily or smoothly as planned. He or she regroups and refocuses efforts while trying to find a solution.
A legal investigation career can be very interesting and rewarding for the right person. If you’re considering a job in this field, it’s time to take the next step and get some training so you are entering into your new role prepared.