Criminal defense lawyers are tasked with representing their clients in court. After conducting legal research, they must argue their client's case in front of a judge, prosecutors, and/or jury, and aspiring criminal defense lawyers must be members of the Bar in their states of employment. Employers prefer those who graduated from a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).
Some employers may promote interns from within an organization to become criminal defense lawyers, and interpersonal skills are important in this position to effectively interact with judges, clients, prosecutors, witnesses, and other judicial staff. Criminal defense lawyers must have strong verbal and written communication skills to write clear legal briefs, and they must be skilled in performing legal analyses, research, and motion writing.
Criminal defense lawyers must be able to travel to make appearances at various courts, and those who represent clients in federal court may spend significant time away from home. They should be able to work independently and without supervision as well as in a team environment, and they are encouraged to read law journals and attend relevant conferences.
Criminal Defense Lawyer Tasks
Present cases in court representing the local, state or federal government.
Review reports, evidence, and conduct research.
Question witnesses, victims or others involved in the case.