Legal experts have urged China to provide more training for criminal lawyers to improve their abilities in defending suspects.
"Lawyers get their legal knowledge from law school, but that doesn't mean they are qualified to defend someone," said Zou Jiaming, an attorney from Beijing's King and Capital Law Firm.
"We need more training, especially for attorneys handling criminal cases, to help them put their knowledge into practice."
Although they may have graduated from law school, some lawyers don't know how to read case materials, how to collect evidence or even how to talk with their clients, she added.
Zou made the remarks on Friday during a seminar in Beijing organized by her firm.
She suggested the Ministry of Justice offer more training for lawyers, to help them better understand legal practices and how to defend suspects in court.
In France, she said, lawyers must go through a year of defense skills training after leaving law school before they can begin their career.
Fan Chongyi, a law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, said helping more defense attorneys master such skills would make the country's criminal justice system more professional and efficient.
"We have examinations to ensure whether a police officer can investigate a crime before they start the career, but we have no such test for lawyers," Fan said at the seminar.
He suggested China's law schools incorporate lessons on defense skills into course schedules, while law firms should also be encouraged to provide training.
King and Capital's criminal division now puts its lawyers through written tests, interviews and mock trials before they are allowed to represent a client in court alone, according to Tian Wenchang, head of the law firm.
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