Premeditated: Advice From O.J. Simpson Prosecutor


With the newest dramatizations of the O.J. Simpson trial, Marcia Clark is back in the public eye. During an Aug. 5 interview at the ABA Conference’s Annual Meeting, Clark discussed a new crime novel she wrote and gave some advice for criminal lawyers practicing today. Below are the highlights of that conversation.

Marcia Clark

On Attorneys and Firms:

“Don’t be intimidated by any big names. Don’t be intimidated by anyone just because they’re famous or well-known.”

For Young Women Aspiring to Legal Careers:

"You have to know how to hold your position. Be strong and don’t be pushed around. Do not bow down just because the man says. Try not to accept less . . . and do your best to show them you deserve respect.”

On Getting Trial Experience:

“The only way to get good at jury trials is to do jury trials. There’s no question: If you go work in the [district attorney’s] office or the [public defender’s] office, you’ll get really good at it. There’s no other way. It only gets learned by experience.”

Whether Prosecutors Can Adequately Prosecute Police:

"As long as you have a unit devoted to that with prosecutors who, [police misconduct] is all they do, you’re fine. But if you have prosecutors who need to prosecute the cops they work with, that’s different.”

How Social Media Affects Trials:

“I think lawyers follow what people are commenting on [on Facebook and Twitter] to see how they feel about defendants, witnesses and using that information to play to the jury. The Casey Anthony case is a great example. The jury consultant was following comments throughout the trial. People were largely saying they didn’t like [Anthony’s] father, so [the lawyer] took his cue from that and played to it.”

Would She Change Her Trial Approach?

“I would take the same legal path because I presented the evidence and that’s all you can do as a prosecutor.”

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