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What It’s Like to Practice in Criminal Law—Insight from the Country’s Top Criminal Law Attorneys
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Summary: Find out what it’s really like to work as a criminal law attorney from the following list of resources. This list includes several nationally recognized attorneys that specialize in criminal law.


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What’s it really like to conduct a criminal trial? How different is the life of a prosecutor from the life of a criminal defense attorney? How often do these attorneys get to try cases? What types of cases do criminal law attorneys handle? If you’d like to read more information about life as a criminal law attorney, including the challenges and rewards of this area, check out the article below.

What Does It Mean to Work as a Criminal Law Attorney

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What do some of the country’s top criminal law attorneys say about practicing this area of law? Attorney Gabriel “Gabe” Grasso, a prominent Las Vegas attorney who has more than 120 trials under his belt, states that the most important skill to be successful as a criminal defense attorney is to know and understand how people work. Read more about Mr. Grasso’s practice below.

Trouble in Vegas? Meet Criminal Defense Attorney Gabriel ”Gabe” Grasso

Attorney William Du Bois emphasizes the importance of the analysis of evidence and how attorneys must be attentive to social issues in their cases. Although he states it took him a few years to get the hang of criminal law, he now tries high profile cases, such as the murder trial of Hans Reiser. For more of Mr. Grasso’s story, click below.

The Life and Career of William Du Bois, Criminal Defense Attorney for Hans Reiser

What inspired some of these attorneys to work in the criminal justice system? Popular TV show host Nancy Grace changed her career path when her fiancé was murdered. She attended law school to pursue violent criminals and stop crime. Read more below:

The Life and Career of Attorney Nancy Grace, Who Turned Lawyer After the Murder of Her Fiancé

Gerry Spence asserts that society must fight against the ever-present relationship between power and helplessness. Spence feels that big businesses and big government are modern day slave masters in today’s society. To fight back, he runs the Trial Lawyers College, an organization for attorneys and judges who are loyal to the jury system and seek to win justice for their clients. See below:

The Life and Career of Gerry Spence: Legendary Criminal Defense Attorney

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What kinds of cases have these successful attorneys tried? Attorney David Kelley transitioned from law enforcement to practicing as an Assistant United States Attorney, where he was named Chief of the Organized Crime and Terrorism Unit in 1995. Kelley would be the co-chair of the Justice Department’s investigation of the September 11 attacks on the United States. For more about Kelley’s career, check out the article below.

The Life and Career of Attorney David Kelley: Crime-Fighting Attorney

Dermot Groome began his career as a prosecutor. He states that because he did not set limits on his profession, he was able to begin trying international crime cases. He was responsible for the Bosnian indictment against Slobodan Milosevic. Read more below:

Attorney Dermot M. Groome International Criminal Law

J. Christopher Smith

J. Christopher Smith

Attorney J. Christopher Smith assists clients who have been charged with violating parole. Some of his most famous clients include singer Faith Evans and rapper T.I. Smith also represented Howard K. Stern on conspiracy charges. Read more about Smith’s practice below:

J. Christopher Smith is One of California’s Best Parole Advocacy and Criminal Defense Attorneys

Stanley L. Cohen

Stanley L. Cohen

Attorney Stanley L. Cohen has represented over 1000 activists in his career. As an international civil rights attorney, he has represented individuals in Israel, Spain, Romania, Morocco, Turkey, Belgium, France, and England. Cohen states he hopes he’s remembered as someone who refuses to go silent in the night. Find out more about his international practice in the article below.

Influential Criminal and Political Defense Attorney Stanley L. Cohen Stands by His Clients

Plato Cacheris

Plato Cacheris

Although he’s 84 years old, Plato Cacheris is still practicing criminal defense in Washington, D.C. Cacheris’ cases have often been in the media. He served as co-counsel with Bill Hundley for former Attorney General John Mitchell during the Watergate prosecution, and more recently represented Monica Lewinsky during the investigation of former President Bill Clinton. For more detail about his decades long career, see below.

Plato Cacheris Has Been One of the Nation’s Best Criminal Defense Attorneys for the Past Forty-Eight Years

Alison Triessl

Alison Triessl

Alison Triessl, in addition to practicing criminal defense, is also the co-founder and CEO of the Pasadena Recovery Center, a drug and alcohol treatment center. Her perspective and experience helps her successfully advocate for those who are mentally ill and who suffer from addiction to drugs and alcohol. Click on the article below to read more about Ms. Triessl.

Alison Triessl Has Been One of California’s Best Criminal Defense Attorneys for the Past Sixteen Years

Criminal defense attorney Rick Halprin is currently representing Lombardo, one of the higher ups in the Chicago Outfit mob. The trial, expected to last four months, is based upon a racketeering conspiracy that included gambling, loan sharking, and extortion. Read the full article below to find out more about him.

Defending the Mob: Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Rick Halprin

Attorney Tony Serra is in a category all by himself—he has taken a vow of poverty, and calls himself the “anti-lawyer lawyer.” His life has been dedicated to selfless service. His career was heavily influenced by the hippie movement of the 1960s. His role as a tax protestor landed him in prison for ten months, but this hasn’t slowed him down in his practice. In fact, the movie True Believer was inspired by Serra, although he laments that the portrayal of his life was grossly inaccurate. Read more about Serra’s life here:

The Life and Career of Tony Serra: Criminal Defense Lawyer

Lea Spiess

Lea Spiess

Lea Spiess, though only in practice for five years, has quickly made a name for herself as one of New York City’s best attorneys. She has a soft spot for wrongful conviction cases and federal civil rights violations. She’s responsible for getting a man freed after he spent 11 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, and has recently represented Occupy Wall Street protestors in false arrest and excessive force cases. For more about Spiess’ career, click below to read the full article.

Lea Spiess is an Attorney with a Big Heart Who Specializes in Federal Civil Rights and Criminal Defense

R. Bradford Bailey states that as a prosecutor, he had to think inside the box, but when his role changed to practice criminal defense, he had to think outside the box. His role on both sides of the criminal justice system has assisted in his white collar crime, securities regulation, and high end criminal cases. He’s even been interviewed by CBS’ Eye on America. To learn more about Bailey’s career, read the full article below.

R. Bradford Bailey – Renowned Criminal Defense Attorney

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