The legal profession is not the first thing people think about when they hear the word “empathy.” Empathy is the ability to understand what another person feels or understands from another person’s perspective. Sympathy is when you feel pity for someone. Empathy is when you feel another person’s pain in your heart.

Why Empathy Is Important in the Legal Profession

People need to be understood. This is especially important when they are going through a crisis, which is often the case when people seek legal counsel.

When people are going through a challenge, it is easy for them to close up and shut out the world. As a lawyer, you need your clients to open up to you so that you can clearly understand the situations and circumstances of their case. Law offices that show empathy can help people feel at ease.

Sympathy can come across as disingenuous. It might even make some clients walk out the door. Being overly optimistic and offering encouraging comments can seem insensitive. Empathy always appears genuine because it is genuine.

Lawyers have a unique opportunity to help people who are facing a life-changing crisis. Just think of the areas of life the law touches.

A person is terrified because they have been charged with a crime and worry that their life is going to change for the worse. Following a personal injury, an individual is worried that they will not be able to cover legal or medical fees or find suitable employment. A nervous business owner is investing their life savings into a new project and needs to feel confident in what they are doing. Clearly, empathy plays a valuable role in the legal field.

Lawyers Use Marketing to Show Empathy

It is difficult for some to see the link between legal marketing and showing empathy. To be fair, marketing on its own is not enough, but it plays an important role.

Through marketing, lawyers can show that they understand what someone else is going through. They can do this either because they have gone through those circumstances themselves or have worked with others who have gone through them.

Marketing can show that a lawyer understands what a person is going through. But that is only part of the empathy equation. To be truly empathetic, the pain of another person needs to be understood and felt.

As mentioned at the outset, lawyers are not known for their empathy. It would be difficult for a deeply empathetic person to successfully practice the law. Lawyers deal with things like divorce, injuries, child custody, imprisonment, and more. A good lawyer cannot take on their client’s feelings because they need to be an impartial voice.

However, marketing content can help a law office take the steps to appear to be more empathetic. It is not about tricking the clients into believing that you are empathetic when you are not. Instead, it is about connecting with prospective clients and showing them that you understand and appreciate the circumstances they are going through. Later on, when a lawyer is actually handling a case, they may need to redefine the emotional parameters that they will work within when dealing with their client.

Empathy Can Be Taught

Even though lawyers may not be naturally empathetic, it is a skill that can be taught. Empathy training is a key part of legal and paralegal education. It helps lawyers and those who work with them to understand what their clients are experiencing.

Through this training, lawyers and those who work with them can be taught to appreciate the value of mentally picturing the situation of the individuals they are working with. This can help attorneys completely process a situation from the client’s perspective.

A good starting point for lawyers looking to add empathy to their law firm is to simply become more aware of their own and other people’s emotions. This can include consciously deciding to observe physical cues, ranging from hand movements to a frown or a smile. It also includes actively listening to a person’s tone of voice.


Empathy is a vital skill that can be developed and learned. It starts when studying the law. It is something that helps not only in the short term but throughout a person’s work in the legal profession.

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod is an Editor of, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.