I think the best ability that a lawyer must have in his arsenal is the ability to bend words like what you see Neo did in the Matrix. I mean, words are nothing if you cannot convince people of you being right or at least makes people say, I just hate to argue with that guy, he always know how to get on my nerve. That is the best compliment a lawyer could get and I have been known to do this even if that person happens to be my mother or my wife or my business partner.
My family was just talking about it on why I became a lawyer over the weekend when we were on holiday in Singapore.They tend to agree as they know how argumentative I can be and how I always like to win in any argument. None of them was really surprised when I managed to graduate as a lawyer although everyone in the family know how lazy I was when it comes to learning anything. But they know I love reading and writing. Especially if the writing have elements which need the reader to be convinced of my arguments.
Anyway, as a rule, the skill that is needed by all lawyers is the skill to bend whatever words that came out of their mouth. It does not necessarily mean that they have to be able to recall every facts that were presented. It is the skill of dissecting facts and storing it somewhere in the mind to be recalled back when needed. I mean, this skill is the one which can be used to crumble the resolve of any witness. Then, you have an opposing party which will object to everything that you have been saying. Then you have to contend with the judge. Outside of the courtroom, if your client is famous enough, you will have to be the suave public relation man who will douse any problems for your client.
With all these, bending words is the least skill that a lawyer must have...