·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


5 Essential Traits of a Top Criminal Lawyer

— April 6, 2020

When you are facing criminal charges, you want the best defense possible. Here, then, are traits to look for in a criminal lawyer.

The world of law is very diverse. There is a lawyer for almost every domain. Some of the main types include divorce lawyers, toxic tort lawyers, private sector lawyers, government lawyers, and, most importantly, criminal lawyers. The same way these lawyers have different qualifications is the same way they need to have distinct character traits. That is the only way they can be able to handle their jobs effectively. 

The last thing you want is a divorce lawyer acting like a criminal lawyer and vice versa. While some of the lawyers have the traits ingrained in them, others tend to pick them up as they advance in their careers. The question is, what qualities should a top criminal lawyer possess? In case you don’t know, below is a list containing detailed answers to the problem. For instance, you should be:


The area of criminal law involves dealing with all kinds of people, including criminals, prosecutors, judges, and innocent civilians. All these individuals have a part to play in every case you take. While some will be active in ensuring everything flows accordingly, others will be docile, hoping that you have everything handled. That is why you need to be proactive. Go and look for answers. The best Bronx criminal lawyers will concur that you don’t wait for answers to come for you.

Being proactive will always put you ahead, and you will be able to get more leads within a short time. Such cases involve lots of evidence. You must thus look in all the right places and come up with a conclusive idea on how to win the case. That is how being proactive as a criminal lawyer can come in handy.


Being persuasive is one of the top character traits criminal lawyers should possess if, at all, they want to win cases. It is actually part of the job. That is because at first, you need to persuade the client you are the right lawyer to handle the criminal case. You then need to convince the judge and the jury that your client is innocent or a victim. You will thus find yourself needing the trait almost everywhere you will go.

The art of persuasiveness can easily take you from a tight spot, even if the evidence is not on your side. You are also able to talk your way out of difficult situations. The character traits should come with communication skills. Those two alone are enough to help you kick start your career as a criminal lawyer, ideally.


Once in a while, you will find yourself in need of various documents from different departments in the government. You may not get them as soon as you request them, but with persistence, you will find it easy to acquire them. You will also need the trait to push most of your cases in a new direction. Unlike some cases, criminal cases are quite hard and very time-sensitive.

That means the best way to get things done is to persist while there is still time. That involves persisting for a particular witness to come forward, getting specific evidence admissible in court, among other things. You may be a great communicator, but without persistence, you will find it tough handling some cases. The trait works together with persuasiveness. That is because if you are dealing with individuals, you will need these two traits to get precisely what you want.


You need to be very committed in a field where everyone is looking at you to get the news they are expecting. Sometimes the job comes with its high and low moments. It is only determination that will enable you to end up having the energy to forge on and win the case. It is a trait that is going to motivate you to achieve a particular goal. As far as it sounds easy, it is not.

Jail Cell; image courtesy of AlexVan via Pixabay,
Jail Cell; image courtesy of
AlexVan via Pixabay,

Determination is also among the essential traits for criminal lawyers more so if the case is full of obstacles. The client will be leaning on you to get positive results, so all you can do is to be determined not to let them down. The trait goes hand in hand with strength. Those two can quickly propel you toward victory.


Every lawyer must practice confidentiality. That is why you hear people talking about attorney-client privilege. As soon as you take a case, the first thing you need the client to do is to give you an account of the whole story. Not his or her version or the version that is going around the court. He or she will have to tell you the correct version.

That is the only way you get to have everything you need to lead the case. With all that information in your possession, you only have one job. That is to protect your client. Some information must be shared with opposing counsel; however, there are details that fall under attorney-client privilege and that is why you need to practice confidentiality.

The traits above may seem to be basic, but in a real sense, they are not. The problem often starts when it comes to putting them to practice. The last thing you want is having your clients doubt your capabilities simply because you lack some of the traits. You also don’t want the lack of such traits to keep you from doing your job effectively.

Join the conversation!