Attorneys handle hundreds of cases every year to be effective representing a client’s interests in a criminal case it is important to know as much about the client as possible.
To that end, most effective criminal lawyers request that their clients prepare a “social history”. The attorney should know where the client was born, went to school, any degrees they have, their occupational background, where they currently work, something about their family, family and relatives in the community that can provide and be part of a support structure, religious affiliations, military service, charitable organizations if they belong to, any awards or commendations they may have obtained, prior criminal history and anything else they can tell the attorney about themselves that will enable them to know the client better.
The legal counselor would also need to know if the person they represent has any prior or current medical condition or mental illness. The social history allows him or her to better know the client and thus give them more credibility in court when they can demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the client’s background.