What comes to mind when you think of a criminal lawyer? Suits? Briefcase? Good public speaking skills?
Whether you require one or are thinking of becoming one, certain traits are desirable in a criminal lawyer.
Many of us glean our understanding of how a lawyer should act from films and series, where lawyers are well-dressed, exceptionally smart, and earn big. But what exactly should you look for in a top criminal lawyer?
Here’s what you need to know.
Why a good criminal lawyer matters
Whether a client is pleading guilty or not, a lawyer’s job is to represent them to the best of their ability within the boundaries of their professional capacities. This is a huge responsibility for a criminal lawyer. Their job is to effectively represent a client in the face of the law, and put aside their own thoughts and judgements along the way. Hire the wrong lawyer and your career, freedom, and whole life as you know it could be over. Hire the right lawyer and you could come out with a very different set of circumstances.
Best qualities for a criminal lawyer
Not everyone is cut out to be a criminal lawyer, let alone a good one. Certain traits and qualities are more useful as a lawyer, and some are essential. Here are some to consider:
Presentation and professionalism
Imagine you’re being represented in court. You’d want your lawyer to be presentable. Whether that’s wearing a suit or speaking well in front of people, having someone who looks the part is always helpful. A good criminal lawyer will always conduct themselves with extreme professionalism and always work within the law to ensure the ideal outcome for their clients.
While many lawyers come from various educational backgrounds, having a quality education is always a plus, especially if the lawyer wants to take on higher-profile cases. But education isn’t just a status thing. The most well-known and successful criminal lawyers often attend Ivy League universities and well-established law schools where tuition is overseen by world-renowned experts in the legal field.
Practising law isn’t for everyone, and a criminal lawyer must not only be qualified and educated in the area of law they are practicing, but they must also be admitted to practice within Australia. This is no easy feat. Criminal lawyers must undergo many years of education before being issued with a practising certificate. People still in university or high school should consider taking subjects like law and society, humanitarian studies, and ultimately complete the Juris Doctor in order to pursue a legal career.
Experience is an extremely desirable asset if you’re searching for a criminal lawyer. The more experience a lawyer has practising, the better they will be at defying someone in court. A more experienced lawyer will also be paid much more than someone who is just starting out. For example, some of the highest-earning lawyers in Australia earn well over $100,000 per year.
…is one of the key characteristics a criminal lawyer must have if he or she is going to persuade a jury of someone’s innocence. A successful criminal lawyer will be highly trained in the art of debate and persuasion. From arguing a point to questioning witnesses and dealing with the prosecution, let alone the magistrate, having the skills to speak and convince are invaluable.
Loyal and trustworthy
Representing a client is an important matter. Especially when the stakes are high and their freedom is on the line. A lawyer must be trusted and appear trustworthy throughout all his or her dealings with their clients and the courts, witnesses, and jury. Sticking to strict confidentiality agreements and best practices is an essential requirement of a good criminal defence lawyer. Likewise, being punctual, well prepared, and forward-thinking are also important traits to look out for.
An appetite to win
Staying up late into the night, and working through mountains of paperwork can be incredibly draining and physically demanding. Criminal defence lawyers must have an appetite to win a case, no matter what it takes. A highly successful criminal lawyer will ensure they’re physically and emotionally prepared to take on highly sensitive and often disturbing facts and information, sometimes even be prepared to remove their moral judgements and work with the facts and nothing else.
Hire a top-notch criminal defence lawyer today
Hiring a legal professional is always a good idea if you think you might be in trouble with the law. Whether it is protecting your family, property, or business, make sure you give yourself and your criminal defence lawyer as much time as possible to prepare for a potential trial. For qualified legal advice, make sure you reach out to Perth’s top criminal defence lawyers.