Comparison of a Defense Lawyer & a Prosecutor

Protecting the rights of the charged and ensuring a fair trial are the role of a defense lawyer. They attempt to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case and influence the jury’s verdict. On the other hand, conviction is the ultimate purpose of a prosecutor. They try to disprove any lingering doubts about the accused’s guilt. 

It’s essential to keep in mind that, despite their similarities in appearance, they might differ significantly in their daily routines and methods of approaching a case. Below, we’ve included a few of the main comparisons between a defense lawyer and a prosecutor.

Job roles

A prosecutor is in charge of bringing charges against a defendant. She is in charge of gathering evidence related to the crime, determining if there is sufficient evidence to establish the case, and then convincing the court that the prisoner is guilty based on that evidence. An attorney for criminal defense performs the exact opposite. In an effort to get the defendant cleared, he looks into the matter on the defendant’s behalf, gives the defendant advice on how to plead, and, if required, represents the defendant in the trial.

Who Hires Them?

A public officer is a prosecutor. He speaks for the district attorney’s office, a paid-for position held by an elected official who is in charge of criminal investigations in the jurisdiction. The Department of Justice hires federal prosecutors. On the other side, a defense lawyer could be a public or private lawyer. If a defendant cannot afford a private attorney, the court will often assign a public defender. The main purpose of the law and the legal system is to give justice and reduce anarchy within the society.

Requirements for education

The way a defense attorney and a prosecutor entered the legal field is where they have the most in common. To earn a Juris Doctor degree, all lawyers must first attend a 4 years undergraduate program before enrolling in law school for 3 years. A lawyer needs to clear the bar test after graduation in order to be admitted to the state bar. You must have finished at least seven years of full-time study before you are allowed to exercise law.


In 2016, the average annual salary for all lawyers was $118,160. When a salary is expressed as a median, it indicates that half of the attorneys earn more than that amount and half earn less. Since they are supported by the government, public criminal attorneys often earn less than private attorneys. However, their exact pay is based on their qualifications and experience. 

Industry Sector

The sole focus of a prosecutor is on criminal matters. A defense attorney can choose to practice on civil or criminal issues; in exceptional circumstances, she or he might defend clients in both contexts. A plaintiff often files a petition against a defendant in court to start a civil action. Typically, the plaintiff seeks to establish that the defendant committed a wrong, such as a contract violation, and get financial damages as compensation. A civil defense lawyer’s role in civil litigation is to represent the defendant at each step of the case. But in a civil action, the defendant is required to retain his own defense attorney.


Before the case goes to trial, the prosecutor may enter a plea. The prosecution may propose a plea deal if it appears unlikely that the jury would find the defendant guilty, even if it results in a conviction on a lower charge. However, if a plea deal is presented before a trial, the defense lawyer must determine if accepting the deal is in the client’s best interests, taking into account both the evidence and the likelihood that the jury would find the defendant guilty. The defense attorney must persuade the client that accepting a plea is in their best interest in specific circumstances.

Showing evidence

The prosecutor is responsible for assembling evidence to be used in court, interviewing and preparing witnesses to testify, gathering information about the case to prepare for cross-examination, and preparing opening and closing arguments. The defense attorney, on the other hand, is responsible for compiling evidence to be used in court, interviewing and preparing witnesses to testify, researching every aspect of the case in order to be ready for cross-examination, and preparing opening and closing arguments.

Despite the fact that both a prosecutor and a defense lawyer have graduated from law school and cleared the bar test, there are some significant differences between them. I hope you have got a clear picture of the comparison between a defense lawyer and a prosecutor by reading this article.