What It Is Like to Be a Criminal Defense Attorney



Being a criminal defense attorney can be a wide variety of things, from rewarding to controversial, these specific attorneys often have widely varied perceptions among their peers and society.  However, criminal defense attorneys are one of the most important types of attorney.  Every citizen is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and criminal defense attorneys carry this burden for their clients.  Whether an attorney is a private criminal defense attorney or a public defender, they are expected to use their skills and knowledge to prove their clients are not guilty.


These particular attorneys defend clients from charges ranging from minor misdemeanors through serious felonies, which carry sentences from fines and community service to hefty jail time and in some case death penalty punishments.


One of the most important things to keep in mind when hearing criminal defense attorney, is that not every crime is a horrendous murder and not every person charged in a crime is a horribly evil monster.  Defendants charged with crimes are mostly normal people, living normal lives who made a bad decision, got caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time, or just simply let a situation get out of hand.  Of course, there are murderers, kidnappers, rapists, who do have criminal defense attorneys,  but a majority of the people who are charged with criminal offenses are just regular people who are in need of help and guidance.



The most important role a criminal defense attorney plays is counselor.  These lawyers are responsible for listening to their clients stories and guiding them towards a resolution to their case that will afford them the best possible outcome.  Criminal defense attorneys spend a great deal of their time interviewing witnesses, performing extensive research and preparing documents and presentations for trials.  Defense attorneys are also responsible for examining the crime scene and securing and preparing expert witnesses to appear on the defendants’ behalf.  Their responsibilities extend to being able to explain complex state and federal laws to clients and their families, so that defendants will understand the charges that they are facing and what the potential repercussions will be for each.


Defense attorneys will look at all the facts and evidence of their client’s case and advise them on how they should proceed, whether it is pleading guilty or not guilty, accepting lesser charges, a plea bargain, or taking their case in front of a trial of their peers.


Being able to provide a competent and vigorous defense for a client regardless of their guilt or innocence is the most important function that every defense attorney serves.  In the most basic sense, defendants must have confidence that their attorney will fight for their constitutional rights, and defense attorneys must value upholding the constitution as the most important and rewarding component of a profession that is often misunderstood or misrepresented.

Job Review: Personal Injury Attorney



When most people picture an attorney, their image is of the personal injury attorney, the litigator standing in front of a court making a case to a jury that their client should be awarded a massive sum of money. Many lawyers who work in the personal injury field rarely see the inside of a courtroom. It’s often their skills in investigating, analysis and negotiation that keeps them out of court.


The personal injury lawyer is the person one calls when one feels they’ve been injured in some form by another person or entity. The lawyer handles tort cases, instances when a person or institution has breached a duty of appropriate behavior, and that breach of duty causes a tangible harm to another. The tort litigator will attempt to prove that their client deserves to be compensated by, or even protected from, the person whose action or inaction caused the harm.


A personal injury lawyer takes cases that aren’t limited to situations where there is a physical injury to someone. Injuries can arise whenever:


  • There is an assault
  • A medical professional doesn’t do their job up to a reasonable standard (malpractice)
  • Insurance companies refuse to pay complete recompense for injuries
  • When someone lies about another person and causes damage to another’s reputation (slander or libel)
  • A company sells substandard goods that cause some harm (product liability)


The personal injury lawyer may specialize in one or more of these kinds of cases. For example, some lawyers take on cases involving car accidents. Some lawyers specialize in medical malpractice cases. By specializing, lawyers gain experience in one field and may often make a better living than if they had a more diverse practice.


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Some lawyers may specialize in taking cases to court; however, most attorneys settle cases through negotiation without going to trial. A trial is a lengthy, time-consuming process, expensive to both parties. A personal injury lawyer will excel in investigating the facts around a case. They will make an analysis of the facts and determine the strength of their case. They will decide whether they can win a large sum via trial by jury, or whether their client is better served by settling the case out of court.


Personal injury attorneys must have a commitment to their clients above all else. They must be willing to work with people from all walks of life, be great listeners as well as great communicators. They must be able to understand complex issues from a variety of disciplines, especially if they plan to excel at litigating different kinds of tort cases. They must also be able to translate these complex issues into language a layperson can easily understand.


The American Bar Association certifies personal injury attorneys. A lawyer seeking certification must take and pass a certification program. The certificate indicates that a lawyer is interested in and competent as a personal injury lawyer, assuring clients that they are obtaining proficient representation in their case.

Job Review: Bankruptcy Attorney

bankruptcy-documentAbout their basic duties, bankruptcy lawyers are there to navigate their clients through the process of business or consumer bankruptcy. Lawyers will need to understand all the legal intricacies of the cases they handle for their clients. They will be charged with filing legal documents, advising their clients about what actions and directions their cases should take, and or course, presenting their cases in court.


Prospective law students must first earn a four year bachelor’s degree. There isn’t a specific subject major required, but many future lawyers earn degrees in History, Philosophy, or Psychology. Aspiring bankruptcy lawyers might want to major in Economics or Business,


Grade point average can play a larger role in who gets selected for law school than the area of a major. Having an A or B grade point average is highly regarded


To carry through and obtain a law degree, known as Juris Doctor, law students have to complete a three year course of study. The types of required courses include Contracts, Property. Civil Procedures, and Torts, These are all required first year courses. During the remaining two years of classes students are advised to zone in on an area of expertise.  Those wishing to become a bankruptcy attorney, of course, should focus on bankruptcy law classes and related areas.


An option for second and third year law students is to enroll in a bankruptcy clinic. The clinics give students hands on legal experience under the guidance of a supervising attorney. The type of tasks the students typically perform include interviewing clients, searching for the proper documentation, and drafting bankruptcy petitions. In some cases law students will get the chance to gain practical experience working for a law firm.


Chapter 7 bankruptcy is categorized as debt liquidation. It does away with all of the person’s debts the law permits to be dismissed. In chapter 7 bankruptcy a trustee collects the assets of the debtor, reduces them to cash, and then distributes them to the debtor’s creditors.


In most Chapter 7 bankruptcies there is little or no nonexempt property.  There will be no liquidation of the debtor’s assets. They are called “no asset cases.”



When a bankruptcy attorney is hired they accept collection calls from creditors. The attorney then puts together a bankruptcy petition. When the petition is filed it creates a stay in regards to collection activity. The attorney prepares the debtor for a 341 meeting of the case’s creditors. In the case of chapter 7, a bankruptcy lawyer will negotiate a reaffirmation agreement on property the debtor wants to keep. Typically, debtors will want to keep their house and car, and continue to make payments by agreement.


Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows individuals with regular income to put together a repayment plan to creditors over a period of three to five years, A person can qualify for chapter 13 if their unsecured debts  are less than 383,175 dollars, or secured debts are less 1,149,525 dollars.


In the case of chapter 13 a bankruptcy attorney may appear in court on their client’s behalf. They file the necessary paperwork. There is a required confirmation hearing. The lawyer will also file motions on their client’s behalf as needed.