More often than not, public defense lawyers are skilled attorneys who are passionate about their work, says Russo & Russo Criminal Defense Attorneys. Just like private attorneys, there are good and bad public defenders, but publicly represented clients usually don't have the ability to choose attorneys handling their cases.
Public defender offices are some of the most competitive employers in the legal industry and usually have access to the best candidates in the field, according to NOLO. While many public defense lawyers are recent graduates, these attorneys gain experience quickly and their performance in the courtroom equals that of a private lawyer.
Public defense lawyers are typically appointed by the court, leaving defendants very little control over who represents them. Funds are often limited and caseloads are heavy, leaving most public defenders very few resources for client meetings or investigative research, states Lawyers.com.
The best way for an individual to be sure of getting a good public defense lawyer is for the individual to be a good client, recommends Just Cause Law Collective. Clients should be on time, dress appropriately and be polite each time they speak with their lawyer. Individuals who show a genuine desire to win the case and who are willing to help with the work involved to do so are usually satisfied with the quality of their public defender.