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What Makes A Great Criminal Lawyer?

Being a successful criminal lawyer is as challenging as it is rewarding.

Although they are sometimes viewed in a negative light due the types of clients they represent, criminal lawyers play a very important role in upholding both the law and order of our society. Everyone has the right to a fair trial, and it is the criminal lawyer’s responsibility to see that impartiality and objectivity are upheld in the service of justice.

In order to be effective in their roles, criminal lawyers must therefore have a great deal of integrity and a high moral code. However, these are just some of the many attributes that comprise a great lawyer.

If you want to stand out in the legal career race as a criminal lawyer, here are some of the skills and traits you should aspire to.

Effective Communication Skills

Great criminal lawyers are excellent communicators. In addition to being careful listeners, who are able to follow and analyse a complex testimony, they are also very articulate, having both strong verbal and written communication skills.

They not only need to have strong public speaking skills, enabling them to argue convincingly in the courtroom before juries and judges; criminal lawyers must also be able to write clearly, persuasively and concisely in order to produce a variety of legal documents.

Sound Judgement

The ability to draw reasonable, logical conclusions from limited information is essential for any successful criminal lawyer. They have to consider these judgements critically in order to be able to anticipate potential areas of weakness in their arguments.

At the same time, a great criminal lawyer will also be able to spot points of weakness in an opposition’s argument.

Strong Analytical Skills

Preparing legal strategies requires not only absorbing large quantities of information but being able to distil it all into logical and applicable information relevant to each case. There might often be more than one reasonable conclusion, or more than one precedent applicable to resolving a situation.

A great criminal lawyer must therefore have the evaluative skills in order to choose what is the most suitable for the case at hand. The ability to provide a compelling technical legal defence is where great lawyers excel.

Solid Research Skills

Criminal lawyers not only have to conduct legal research to find precedents and other cases with a bearing on theirs; they also need to research the alleged crime committed by their client and circumstances that the police may have overlooked.

A great criminal lawyer knows that over-investigating a case is the single most important thing they can do. In fact, the amount of independent investigations criminal lawyers conduct is probably the single biggest thing that distinguishes them from other lawyers.

Because criminal lawyers are playing catch up from the moment they get involved in a case, being able to research quickly and competently is essential to preparing effective legal strategies.

Proficient Digital Literacy

These days having effective research skills goes hand in hand with being tech savvy – it’s hard to have one without the other. Therefore, criminal lawyers must know how to effectively utilise the tech tools at their disposal.

A great criminal lawyer will not need to rely on their legal secretary – no matter how exceptional they might be – to navigate the digital world in order to conduct case research.

Intuitive People Skills

Regardless of how well a case is researched or presented, at the end of the day criminal lawyers work with people, on behalf of people, and the decisions they make affect peoples’ lives.

Great criminal lawyers must therefore be personable, persuasive and able to read others well. They’re not only able to decide upon the best approach to take in order to achieve the desired outcome but can also gauge jurors’ reactions as well as the honesty of witnesses.

Perseverance And Dedication

If you’re reading this, then you’ll probably agree that the very act of becoming a lawyer takes a great deal of perseverance and commitment. But of course, that’s only the beginning.

Most cases require many hours of diligent research and analysis as well as lots of writing; great criminal lawyers have the perseverance to complete the work necessary to get the job done.

About Clayton Legal

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from partners to legal executives, solicitors to paralegals and legal IT personnel to practice managers. 

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. 

Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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