Learning From Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln is known as one of our country’s greatest presidents. Prior to becoming President Lincoln was a very successful trial lawyer and defended many criminal cases. The techniques Lincoln employed in trial are still valid today and criminal lawyers can study them and make themselves better criminal lawyers.
Lincoln grew up in poverty and his life struggles gave him a deep understanding of life and humane beings. Lincoln analysed every case from the jurors perspective and knew what issues would be critical in their decisions. When he tried a case he did it in such a way that the jurors felt they were trying the cases together with Lincoln.
Lincoln never talked over the jurors heads and always used every day language. He studied the King James bible and loved the parables of the New Testament and knew how effective parables can be as a persuasion tool. Lincoln’s used stories in front of juries to make his point and persuade jurors to his side.
Lincoln was also one of the most honest lawyers to ever practice law and he used his honesty as a persuasive tool. If jurors trust a lawyer they will almost always be swayed to his side of the case. Lincoln narrowed the issues to one critical point and generally didn’t fight over other facts. Of course the one issue he did fight over usually made the difference of whether the trial was won or lost. This is a valuable lesson criminal lawyers can learn from Lincoln.
To learn more about Lincoln the lawyer and other great criminal lawyers from the past you should read The Art of Advocacy by Lloyd Striker. Criminal lawyers can always improve on their craft and studying the great lawyers from the past is one way to do so.