Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Criminal Lawyer

Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Criminal Lawyer

Samara Davis
By Samara Davis
editor

March 11, 2021


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  • Whether you are joining law school or understanding criminal law, Criminal law is not a walk in the park. You can learn a lot from both at school and in the field that will enable you to become a successful criminal lawyer. If you wish to learn more about criminal law and not just take tips you see in movies, check out JacksonWhite Law.

    If you are looking to become a criminal lawyer in the future, you need to understand what criminal law is and what is involved. In this piece, you will get everything you need to know to become a criminal lawyer.

    Understanding Criminal Law

    As the name suggests, criminal law is a set of rules by society to guide and punish crime doers. Crime is an act of offense to the set laws. Criminal lawyers are out: to defend those accused of false crimes, suing people who break the set laws, and help convince the jury that the other party is at fault. They are part of the body responsible for ensuring justice prevails in our society.

    Crimes can include but not limited to:

    • Murder
    • Sexual assault
    • Property damage
    • Theft 
    • Motor offenses
    • Money laundering
    • Terrorism
    • Homicide etc.

    The set laws control what people do and remind them of the available punishment to lawbreakers. During criminal law studies, you will equip yourself with every aspect of criminal law, so you understand what you are about to get into before qualifying as a law student.

    Becoming a Criminal Lawyer

    One thing for sure, when becoming a criminal lawyer, you need to have tough skin to handle challenging cases and have the drive to keep you on your toes. The nature of criminal law requires you to be a multi-tasking individual with the ability to excel under pressure.

    Also, as a criminal lawyer, you should be attentive and have the ability to gather, protect and present evidence in time. As you can see, personal skills and skills play a huge role in becoming a criminal lawyer. Having an eye for detail is one of the unique abilities you employ to grow in this field. 

    Also, paying keen attention to your clients’ details will help you get to the bottom of your case. Determining your case outcome depends on how ready you are when dealing with every bit of information or evidence you get. Biasness can be a problem in this profession, but you ought to be neutral about your work. Being open-minded to every case and ensuring every client you are dealing with gets a fair trial.

    The Journey of Criminal Law 

    First, if you want to become a criminal lawyer, you need to be passionate and purpose-driven. Second, pursue a law degree or diploma. Alternatively, take any law-related course. Then later do a Diploma in law. 

    Join a Law School/ Training Institution in Your State

    There are specific courses and training to undertake; you need to find out which law firms offer them.

    Which Salary Should You Expect?

    At the entry-level, you shouldn’t expect much. But as you grow through the ranks, expect your salary to increase as well. Another thing to note, wages will be different depending on which law firm you are working for, at what capacity, and in which state. Also, there is a salary difference. Those working under a firm may take home a different salary from those working as self-employed even if they are of the same rank. The average salary of a criminal lawyer ranges from $45,000 to $130,000. But it will depend on the state.

    Where Do You Get Experience?

    A criminal law solicitor can gain experience by getting training at a solicitor’s office. You can also gain knowledge by attending open days in the related field. The first place to have a glimpse of what experience in criminal law is and how it feels like is in the university where you will study law. In the case you want to be a barrister, you have to do a mini-pupillage.

    Where You Can Access Studying Resources To Learn Criminal Law

    Even when movies, series, and books have little to no real-life experience, you can always learn one or two things to entertain or inform you.

    To grow and understand criminal law, as a student, you should:

    • Take summer courses 
    • Get internships 
    • Attend Law school
    • Participating in law firm events 

    Attending professional events will help you as a criminal lawyer wannabe to:

    • Network with other students and experts in your field.
    • Interacting with law school alumni.
    • Find and interact with your mentor.
    • Access to law resources (books, journals, and videos)

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