How to Become a Criminal Justice Lawyer

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Do you want to be a criminal justice attorney? If so, I am sure you must be curious about how to become one. Don’t fret. In this blog post, I will enlighten you on the basic information you need to know about how to become a criminal justice lawyer.

How to Become a Criminal Justice Lawyer

Criminal justice attorneys are experts in criminal cases. People charged with criminal cases need a criminal attorney to represent them in a court of law. Criminal justice lawyers defend their clients involved in criminal cases.

Criminal justice lawyers represent people who have been accused or involved in a crime. They do scholarly research on the cases and build strategies to defend their clients. To be successful as a criminal justice lawyer, you need to have a passion for criminal justice. Good public speaking skills also help, as does the ability to make a better presentation.

Who is a Criminal Justice Lawyer?

A criminal justice lawyer defends a client who has been accused or involved in criminal misconduct. Criminal justice lawyers gather research, make preparations, and argue the case to defend the client from any criminal accusations.

They legally represent people involved in a crime. Also, they build strategies to defend their clients. A criminal justice attorney advises their client on the best strategy for fighting the case in court. To be a criminal justice lawyer, you need a law degree in the area of criminal law and a drive for justice.

Your duty as a criminal justice lawyer is to clarify legal regulations and look for the best interpretation that fits your client. They work for 50 hours every week. In addition, their work hours could be extended to the weekends if required by the law firm.

Furthermore, a criminal defense lawyer does adequate research and prepares for the case before the trial. They investigate evidence, statutes, previous judicial rulings, and laws to develop enough strength for their argument. After enough research, the justice attorney prepares it by designing an adequate argument plan of action for the court.

Responsibilities of a Criminal Defense Attorney

The main responsibilities of criminal justice lawyers are to gather research and prepare for the case. However, there are other arrays of duties that they must perform to develop adequate strategies for the argument to defend their clients. Some of their duties include:

  • Develop good strategies for the argument to defend the client in court.
  • Protect their client’s constitutional rights by substantial knowledge of the law.
  • Gather enough evidence to support the case.
  • Legally represent clients in court trials and hearings.
  • Gather and identify witnesses.
  • Advocate for the client and provide evidence to the judge if the case goes to trial.
  • They also conduct interviews with the witnesses.
  • Make enough research for the case, interpret the laws for the defendant, and provide legal advice that would suit the client’s interests.
  • Arrange legal documents such as legal briefs; investigate the crime scene; design exhibits for presentation in court, and arrange witnesses to testify in court.

These are some of the duties of a criminal justice lawyer. The success of the case solely depends on them, and they must do their absolute best to defend their client against criminal charges.

How to Become a Criminal Justice Lawyer

Before you can become a criminal justice lawyer, there are certain steps you must take. Before pursuing a law degree, you must have a passion for criminal justice and know how to speak well in public.

  • Complete high school and take entrance exams: During your senior year in high school, be well prepared and take the law entrance exams. It would help if you scored an aggregate of 60% marks in your exams to qualify for an undergraduate college course. Some of the examinations you have to prepare for and sit for are CLAT (common law admission test), SET (symbiosis entrance test), and LSAT (law school admissions test).
  • Obtain an undergraduate law course: You must obtain a bachelor’s degree in law from an accredited college. You can do this in two ways. You can obtain an LLB degree that concentrates on legal studies. Once you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you are a qualified legal practitioner. You can search for a job in a law firm or choose to start your own.
  • Pass the bar exam: Once you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you must show up for the bar council exam. You must pass the bar exam to be able to practice criminal law and show up in Supreme Court cases.
  • Obtain a post-graduate law degree: You can further your legal studies by getting a master’s degree in criminal law. Pursuing a master’s in criminal law gives you an LLM degree.
  • Pursue a doctorate in law: If you want to advance your legal education, you can get a Ph.D. in law.
  • You need more experience to be a successful criminal justice lawyer: While still studying, you can work as an intern at a law firm to gain more experience and see how cases are handled in court.

These are some of the steps that all potential individuals who dream of becoming criminal justice lawyers must follow. People who want to become criminal justice lawyers must have a high GPA in school.

Types of Criminal Justice Lawyers

Criminal lawyers have different job roles. You can choose the job role that fits your skillset and choose the one where you can perform your best.

  • Government advocate
  • Criminal law practitioner
  • Public prosecutor

Criminal justice lawyers can work in either profession. It would be best to work in the role that you are qualified for.

Skills for a Criminal Justice Lawyer

To be successful as a criminal justice lawyer, you need to develop some essential skills. These skills are vital to your career as a criminal justice lawyer. Some of these include:

  • Good communication skills
  • Analytic skills
  • Good public speaking skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Integrity
  • Good negotiation skill
  • Excellent research skills

Criminal justice lawyers must possess such skills to be successful in their job roles.

Requirement for Criminal Justice Lawyer

Before you can become a criminal justice lawyer, you need to obtain a law degree from an accredited university. You need an LLB degree and other master’s degrees to become a criminal justice lawyer. You must complete an undergraduate course that lasts four years.

It is important to have more experience. You can intern at a law firm. Or you can work under a qualified criminal justice lawyer to gain more experience in the job. It is also good to have good grades and develop specific skills such as communication, analytics, and problem-solving skills.

Once you have completed your bachelor’s degree, apply to law school by taking the law admission test. Then you need to complete a three-year course in criminal defense law. To be a legal practitioner, you must pass the bar exam and be licensed by the state government.

Where Can I Work as a Criminal Justice Lawyer?

Criminal justice lawyers work in law firms and other legal institutions. As a criminal defense attorney, you can work in:

  • Law firms
  • High courts and supreme courts
  • Legal websites
  • Legal consultancies
  • Government agencies
  • Independent legal practice
  • International organizations
  • Law Universities
  • Non-profit agencies

Criminal justice lawyers work in the above-mentioned organizations.

How Much Does a Criminal Justice Lawyer Earn?

If you are interested in this job role, you must be curious about how much they earn. A career in law is one of the highest-paid professions, with a criminal justice lawyer earning as much as $121,653 per year. However, their salary ranges depend on qualifications, level of experience, law firm, and location. Nonetheless, a career in criminal law is a good one.