Legal Guide

A Day In The Life Of A Criminal Lawyer

Criminal lawyers are the most infamous solicitors in the industry. That’s because of their high profile appearances in films and on the news. It’s an exciting, and fast-paced world. In fact, it’s one of the most adrenaline-pumping jobs in law. Let’s face it, no-one ever made a movie about a business lawyer drawing up contracts, did they? Criminal lawyers are faced with some of the most challenging decisions every single day. They’re expected to stand up in court, and plead the case for their client.

Of course, this also makes it one of the most stressful and emotional jobs in law. As a criminal attorney you know that your performance could irrevocably change someone’s life forever. There are often morality issues when faced with defending some of the worst criminals too. This stress and pressure takes an emotional toll. But, it’s balanced with incredible happiness when you make a difference for the better. So, what exactly is involved in a criminal lawyer’s day? We spoke to the experts at We asked them to break down their average working day. Here’s what they said.

Pre-trial - Most people think that a criminal lawyer spends all day in court. Well, sometimes we do, and it can be exhausting! In fact, sometimes we’ll spend weeks at a time in court on a particularly long case. However, there are plenty of jobs that take place outside the court. Most of that time is spent meeting with clients and building a case. It often involves highly emotional trips into prisons and holding cells. We have to liaise with the client and get a full picture of the incident. We dig deep to find the truth, and we pull together the best possible defense or prosecution as a result. We’ll also advise our clients how to plead, and explain everything they need to know about their criminal charges.

Plea bargains - A large chunk of our day is spent out of court, negotiating a plea bargain for our clients. We’ll often do this when there’s a clear admission of guilt, and an expression of regret or sorrow. In these situations, we can go to a judge, and ask for a reduced sentence in exchange for a quick trial. Here, we’ll work to get the best possible deal for our client and, where possible, keep them out of jail!

Court hearings - Of course, every lawyers favourite part of the day is the courtroom. The adrenaline starts to pump, and we love the thrill of putting out a case before the jury. This is so important because you know that your case and your performance can be the decisive factor. It’s your job to present the jury and the judge with the best possible case. The worst part is letting the jury go off and make the decision. It can often take hours or even days, and it’s a nerve-wracking experience! In the end, the jury usually returns the right decision, which makes it all worth it.

So, there you have it. A day in the life of a criminal lawyer. Exciting stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree.

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