Each one of us aspired, one time or the other, after watching tense court-room scenes in movies and television series, to be a criminal lawyer.
In real life, these criminal lawyers are modern day superheroes for many. They deal with human life and make sure that criminals go behind the bars.
All of us know that to be a lawyer you need a law degree to start with. Sadly, a degree in law isn’t sufficient to be a high profile criminal lawyer. One always needs that extra edge for quest against the injustice. We are talking about the skills, other than academic, that one needs to work on before s/he steps in to the world of criminal law.
Highly developed problem solving skills:
All lawyers are basically problem solvers. They help people resolve property, financial and social disputes. When you are a criminal lawyer, one needs to think out of box for each cases. This is when you needs these skillsets viz., logical reasoning (rational thinking), imagination, to make sense of the situation and coming up with intelligent solution.
World of crime is not as repetitive. Client encounters different set of difficulties and problems and as a lawyer it’s your job to get him out of it.
Spirit of enquiry:
You should never get bored of your job. Successful criminal lawyers simply love what they do and they just never stop until the client wins the case. If the spirit of enquiry drives you then you are for this job. The crazy curiosity is going to help you out in turning arguments and re-tell the story in the court of law. This also involves digging deeper, looking for more solid evidence and unveiling new layers of case.
Reading, reading and reading…
This is the part they don’t show in movies or sitcoms. Even though this may sound like the most unattractive part of the job, a good criminal lawyer has to be smart reader. No one is telling you to go through thousands of pages of legal documents but you should master the art of speed reading. The court works on documents, words and case laws. Also the documents provided by clients regarding the case must be read carefully. A good lawyer has the superpower to detect danger from printed text.
Make each word you write, fight for its life:
Writing letters, affidavits, petitions and appeals are going to be regular part of the job. One single word might cost the client his life. Keeping your personal and professional communication crisp and to the point is way to go. Aspiring lawyers should get themselves familiar with formal correspondence. Legal profession follow very strict rules and if you are ready for that kind of written discipline then criminal justice might be a thing for you.
Flexibility in verbal communication:
The confidence of the lawyer while speaking during the hearing plays crucial role in the judgement. During a strong case, lawyer must defend its client by speaking in authoritative manner to get the message across the jury. At other circumstances, say, while speaking with relatives of a deceased, a lawyer needs to tone down her/his speech.
These are skills you do not get to learn in a law school. The profession of criminal law will welcome you with warm hug if you possess these non-academic skills. Future lawyers reading this, should start working right now on honing and developing these skills.