Archive for February, 2015

A Day In The Life Of A Criminal Lawyer

Ask a group of school children what they want to be when they grow up. Chances are, a good proportion will tell you they want to be a lawyer. They’ve seen lawyers on TV, making passionate courtroom speeches and fighting for justice! It’s a noble and exciting profession. Children dream of growing up and pursuing this career. However, is it as exciting and fulfilling as we like to think? We spoke to a group of criminal lawyers and asked them to talk us through their average day.

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Discovery

Most lawyers don’t spend all day in the court room. Far from it. Most spend their days in the office, pouring over case details. The first stage of this is what lawyers call ‘discovery’. This is the process of pulling together every detail and piece of evidence for a case. It involves sitting down with clients and witnesses. It is extracting the details and ironing out discrepancies in the story. There could be a false accusation or a hidden clue to find. It’s about assessing what pieces of evidence are relevant and will help the case.

Case reading

Next comes the long, arduous process of case reading. This is what keeps lawyers up all night. This is why you’ll find them slumped over their desks at midnight nursing a coffee to get them through! Case reading is the simple task of pouring over every last detail. It’s highlighting and circling and getting to understand every minute detail. Case reading is all about finding that small area that can be exploited in a case. This is where lawyers will find that hole in the story that wins a client’s case.

Dispute resolution

We found that this one depends entirely on the law firm in question. Some law firms love getting into court. They love to get on the floor and plead their client’s case in front of a jury. Others prefer a more amicable approach. These lawyers will often spend a good portion of the day on the phone. They will be back and forth with the opposition lawyer trying to come to an agreement. This involves great negotiation and persuasion skills.

Going to court

Now we get to the good stuff. A good criminal lawyer lives for the thrill of the courtroom. There are few things better than standing up and making a passionate plea for your client. It involves making opening and closing statements to the jury. They pull witnesses to the stand and question them. They’ll use this time to iron out the discrepancies and bring the lies to the surface. It’s an exciting and tense part of a criminal lawyer’s day.

Emotion

One thing that came up time and time again is the difficult task of dealing with emotions. A criminal lawyer’s job is to get behind the motivations and the personal decisions of criminals. They will be subject to intimate, personal and grisly details of a case. It can be emotional and trying.

Having said that, all of the lawyers we spoke to explained how rewarding their job was. When they win a case that they have poured their heart and soul into, it’s a rush. Every case is so personal and real lives are at stake. It’s a powerful and emotional job!