If you ever wanted to become a criminal lawyer in Melbourne, you should know that it is a very involved profession that requires a lot of hard work and dedication to succeed. Unlike other areas of the law, being a defence solicitor means dealing with sometimes serious matters like murder or sexual assault.
In order to become a practising criminal lawyer in Melbourne, you will need to study, graduate and pass the bar exam in Victoria. Apart from that, there are several traits you want to ensure that you possess before you undertake this career path.
The following will examine some of the traits you want to have before becoming a criminal lawyer in Melbourne.
Charisma and speaking ability
A criminal lawyer in Melbourne needs to be charismatic in order to be persuasive in the arguments they make on behalf of their clients. A defence solicitor is rarely ever a mild mannered or boring person, they speak clearly and authoritatively because they need to present confidence on behalf of their client. A solicitor who behaves meekly and stutters their speech isn’t going help you when you’re trying to convince people of your innocence.
In order to be successful as a criminal lawyer in Melbourne, you really need to be practised at public speaking and debate. In situations where you need to cross-examine witnesses, you would need to have skill in detecting when someone gets uncomfortable with a line of questioning or appears to deflect queries.
As a criminal lawyer in Melbourne you will also need legal research skills so that you can look up previous cases in order to bolster the argument you are making on behalf of your client. Your client is relying on you to produce a robust defence for them that cites previous decisions from judges in the past regarding similar offences and circumstances.
Often, the research skill of your solicitor is the most important and impactful part of your defence. A good defence solicitor can identify small details that allow them to do things like have evidence dismissed based on technicalities they uncover.
For example, if the police make a mistake or otherwise incorrectly collect and label evidence than said evidence can be dismissed from the case. This can be what makes or breaks cases where a defendant is charged with drug possession.
An interest in defending people’s rights
The best criminal lawyers in Melbourne are proud of what they do in spite of the stereotypical criticism of defence solicitors as ‘devils advocates’. Defending people from wrongful accusations is just as important as prosecuting the guilty in order to maintain a healthy society. As a defence solicitor, your role is to help temper the power of the police/state by giving private citizens a robust way to defend themselves. This is meant to prevent the state from becoming so powerful it can arrest anyone for any reason.
In this way, if you become a criminal lawyer in Melbourne you are also becoming a defender of modern democracy and liberty. Defence solicitors are the first and often last line of protection for the civilian population against overzealous government bureaucracy.
You also need to demonstrate patience in order to be successful as a criminal lawyer in Melbourne since these kinds of cases can go on for a long time between hearings, sentencing and appeals.