11 Skills Criminal Lawyers Use Everyday

See also: Critical Thinking Skills

Criminal lawyers are some of the most diverse professionals in the world. They have a set of skills that help them thrive and succeed at their job, but what they don't always realize is those same skills can be transferred to everyday life as well.

In this article, we will examine the top eleven skills that help criminal lawyers succeed in the field of criminal law, as well as in everyday life.


Criminal lawyers have the ability to think quickly on their feet. This allows them to present information in a clear and concise manner while also being able to adapt easily when something unexpected happens, and make quick decisions about what they need to do next.

Resourcefulness and Information Gathering

Being resourceful and having the ability to gather effective and relevant information is of the utmost importance as a criminal lawyer. Having the skill of scanning a plethora of documentation, physical evidence and records (as well as reference other useful materials from outside sources if needed) in order to build a criminal case is a feat all on its own.

An Ability to Think Critically

Criminal lawyers have the ability to identify what is important within a criminal case even if it's not obvious or clear at first glance. The best criminal lawyers can take seemingly small details of a criminal case and link them together so they can better understand how it all fits in with other pieces of evidence.

Being able to think critically about criminal cases means you must pay attention to every detail given by witnesses during trial proceedings, which will help you piece together the bigger picture later on.

High Emotional Intelligence and Empathy

During criminal trial proceedings, criminal lawyers must be able to listen well and understand what other people are saying while also being empathetic towards others so they can put themselves in their shoes. Being empathic means you have an understanding of how someone else may feel under certain circumstances rather than just considering yourself without empathy at all.

A skill like this may be considered sneaky, however, it allows a criminal lawyer to read people's actions to build a solid defence for their client. Being empathetic in this way can also be brought into daily life as being there for someone who needs support will require an individual who can be empathetic towards their struggle.

The Ability to Give and Receive Feedback

Criminal lawyer's role within criminal trials involves learning and growing as both people and professionals on top of not losing morale after making difficult decisions that affect outcomes in different types of criminal cases. Having the ability to take criticism, whether it is positive or negative, will allow a lawyer to learn from their mistakes and make more informed decisions in the future.

In saying this, personal coping skills for when things don't go according to plan are also beneficial for criminal lawyers. Being able to stay cool when things don't go your way is something that many seasoned lawyers still struggle with.

Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is a required skill for criminal lawyers. Knowing how to negotiate with clients, opposing counsel and judge's during criminal trials are all necessary skills that allow criminal lawyers to get what they want.

Having great negotiation skills in daily life could mean the difference between getting a speeding ticket, haggling for a refrigerator or even getting a cat out of a tree. It’s an important skill to build upon regardless of profession.

Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are invaluable for criminal lawyers as it allows them to be able to stand out professionally in criminal law. Being a leader means that you are responsible for guiding other people at times, which is an important skill within the criminal justice system.

Leadership skills can be applied to criminal lawyers in different ways. You could lead a team of criminal law professionals within a firm, give presentations at conferences, seminars and other networking opportunities that arise from time to time. It is the ability to take responsibility in times of both success and hardship.

Thinking Outside the Box

Thinking outside the box allows criminal lawyers to come up with creative ways to defend their clients when it feels like all hope is lost. Criminal law cases are complex and need criminal lawyers that have a sense of creativity about them in order to solve problems quickly which could save time, money or even outcome in court proceedings.

Creativity comes into criminal law in different ways and criminal lawyers use their creativity day to day by being innovative with the evidence they have been given, whether it be from witnesses or forensic investigators.

Working Under Pressure

Criminal law is a field of work that must be able to handle pressure as criminal case proceedings can become quite intense at times.  Criminal lawyers have to not only think quickly but also work under pressure at times while making sure that they are acting within the criminal law framework.

Having a clear mind and being able to take decisions in a split second is important when representing someone who may be going through criminal proceedings whether it's part of their job or just for fun.

Good Communication Skills

Good communication skills are important for criminal lawyers because it allows them to convey information in the most effective way possible. Criminal law is a field of work that requires criminal lawyers, whether they be defence or prosecution counsels, to have good communication skills while being able to understand what's going on around them and communicate that with their team members.

Having a clear understanding of what you're saying, as well as knowing how someone else may interpret your words based on who they are, can help criminal lawyers clarify certain points within court proceedings. These interpretations could make all the difference when trying to get someone off from charges brought against them according to criminal laws.


Criminal law can be a tough field of work, but criminal lawyers must have the perseverance to push through and do what's necessary for their client. Criminal law as a profession is not for everyone and criminal lawyers mustn't lose sight of what they're fighting for.

Having perseverance in criminal proceedings can mean that criminal lawyers are able to negotiate better with other parties involved, remain confident under pressure or just be incredibly determined about achieving a good outcome for their client.