Do you have a knack for arguing? Have you always been witty and sharp? Then you may have had a number of people tell you that you would make for a great lawyer. But what really constitutes being a great litigator? Because of all the stereotypes there are about lawyers, we often think that having the ability to argue in front of a large crowd and woo the jury with perfectly placed crescendos in our speech is all there is to it to being a lawyer? But is that really true? If you’re considering a career as a criminal lawyer, are good oral skills enough to put you at the top?
This is the most basic skill required of a litigator but the court of law requires a certain kind of communicator; someone who can deliver information in the most logical and clear manner. A criminal lawyer’s job is to not just present pieces of information but convey them in a way that will tell a story that ultimately exonerates the defendant. While appealing to the emotions of jury members can be sprinkled throughout one’s speech, one cannot rely purely on ad hominem arguments.
There is a lot of writing involved in the practice of criminal law from writing simple letters to creating sophisticated legal documents for pleadings and various appeals. It’s not just mastery of the English grammar that is required in legal writing but also one which is stylistic that judges will find joy in reading these documents. Those working in the legal profession are known for being impatient, and coming up with a sloppily written document or letter would only exacerbate things.
The legal profession is very client-oriented and for the right reasons – you’d be out of work if you didn’t have anyone to defend. For this reason, having excellent interpersonal skills is a must if you are to survive the cutthroat world of being a public defender. At the same time, you need to be the kind of person that a defendant would be willing to spill all the beans to if you want to be able to cover all your bases well and weave out the best defense for any case.
Research is the spine of any good speech, and the ability and patience to conduct extensive research is what sets apart excellent lawyers from so-so ones. This is a skill that is developed during law school and honed throughout years of practice.
Sarah Rawson writes about various interesting topics on her blog. She features travel, pharmD programs, and law enforcement degree online.