How many of you watch Law and Order? Quite a few I’m sure. Don’t we just love to watch the police gather all the evidence and work with the prosecutors to convict the guilty person? Of course we do. We want good to triumph over bad and we all know the defendant must be a bad guy. Or is he? Every defendant has one person on his side, one person who believes their story, the defense attorney. And don’t we just love to hate them as they try to block justice with their injunctions?
Defense attorneys take quite a lot of abuse from people. I’m sure those defense attorneys of high profile cases get death threats frequently. Think about the defense attorney for the Boston Marathon Bomber. Weren’t we all thinking “How could he represent that guy?”. Or the defense attorney who represented Charles Mansion. How could anyone want to help him out after what he and his followers did? But hold on a minute, there is a very good reason we have defense attorneys.
Defense attorneys are needed to ensure the fairness of our legal system. Anyone who is accused of a crime has a right to a fair trial. How fair would it be to have prosecutors and no defense attorneys? Let me tell you, I wouldn’t want to be the defendant depending on my own legal finesse for representation. As you can imagine, it takes a special kind of person to be a defense attorney. To be right for this job, you must be able to think beyond the mob mentality. “He was arrested, he must be guilty”. We know it has been proven that some innocent people have been arrested for crimes they did not commit. Wouldn’t you want the best defense available?
You must be someone who likes to delve deeply into a situation and look at it from all sides over and over again, paying acute attention to every detail. You must be on top of your game when it comes to knowledge of the law. Even if your client has committed the crime for which he is being tried for, there are laws that need to be followed in the courtroom.
A defense attorney must have a thick skin. It must be difficult to be as unpopular as they appear to be. Public opinion cannot affect a defense attorney as they prepare their case. It takes a dedicated lawyer to be a defense attorney. It takes someone who wants to find the truth.