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Standing AccusedThe Organization and Practices of Criminal Defence Lawyers in Britain$
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Mike McConville, Jacqueline Hodgson, Lee Bridges, and Anita Pavlovic

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198258681

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198258681.001.0001

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The Culture of Criminal Defence

The Culture of Criminal Defence

Chapter:
(p.46) 3 The Culture of Criminal Defence
Source:
Standing Accused
Author(s):

Mike McConville

Jacqueline Hodgson

Lee Bridges

Anita Pavlovic

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198258681.003.0003

This chapter describes the culture of criminal defenders. It also reports a main observational study with in-depth interviews with a sample of forty-four trainee solicitors undertaking their articles. Not all those interviewed had or even intended to do training in criminal work, let alone to move on to a career in this field, but an attempt was made with those who were doing criminal training to interview them both before and after this part of their articles, in order to gauge how their attitudes may have changed in the process. Of those undertaking criminal training, one-third was interviewed before and after this part of their articles. All the interviewees had studied criminal law as part of their earlier education, whether as undergraduate law students or on ‘conversion courses’ from other degrees, or in their studies for professional qualifications. While this survey cannot be regarded as definitive, it provides significant insights into the training of lawyers and its relationship to legal culture. In many respects, it is not surprising that articled clerks should come out of their period of in-service training with an image of criminal justice as being ‘cobbled together’.

Keywords:   criminal defence, legal culture, criminal defenders, trainee solicitors, criminal training, criminal justice, defence lawyers

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