Do you aspire to become a criminal defense attorney? The legal field is quite broad, and you need to choose a particular area to specialize in if you want to build and grow a good reputation. There are reputable lawyers in different places who excel at offering legal representation to clients facing criminal charges.
As such, if you wish to practice as a criminal defense attorney, there are several important things to consider. Read on to learn how you can become a successful criminal defense attorney.
The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney
In essence, a criminal defense attorney provides legal representation to clients or organizations facing criminal charges.
There are different forms of criminal conduct that range from theft, fraud, and robbery to murder, rape, and bond hearings, among many others. It falls upon the criminal defense lawyer to research, prepare, and argue a case on behalf of the client to defend them against their criminal charges.
The seasoned team of Orlando-based lawyers at https://www.fighterlaw.com/practice-areas/criminal-defense/ explain that hiring a lawyer with experience in criminal defense is very critical at trial. It is not a good idea to wait and see what will happen during the trial, as you may be left with an egg on the face after losing the case.
Therefore, you need to consider the experience and the track record of the criminal defense lawyer before you choose them to represent you. Experienced attorneys also handle appeals, which are more difficult to manage than trial cases.
Steps to Become a Criminal Defense Lawyer
In order to become a criminal defense attorney, the first thing you need to do is work towards gaining a bachelor’s degree. A common bachelor’s degree typically involves four years of study.
The major area of study in your bachelor’s degree does not matter as much, but you need to maintain good grades overall. You should also focus on gaining investigative, research, analysis, and communication skills from your undergraduate studies.
After graduating, the next step is to apply for law school, and this is often done through an admission test, such as the LSATs. You will spend three years of specialized study in criminal defense law to attain a J.D. degree.
All in all, to become a criminal defense attorney, you need seven straight years of education.
To start practicing, you need to take the state’s bar exam to obtain a professional license and become a member of the Bar Association. This professional body regulates the operations of all legal practitioners within a particular state.
Job Description of a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Novice criminal defense lawyers usually begin their practice by joining an existing firm, in which working hours vary according to the load and tasks at hand. The attorneys usually go to courtrooms, prisons, hospitals, law libraries, and also visit their clients at home.
A criminal defense lawyer needs to research and prepare for each trial so that they can represent the client to the best of their abilities. The attorney examines the evidence, different statutes, and laws together with other judicial rulings.
This helps them develop a strong defense strategy in court when they represent their clients. To win a case, a defense lawyer must pick the most effective argument that can convince the judges to decide on a favorable outcome and pronounce an acquittal.
Therefore, you should know that research and case preparation comprise essential duties that you should carefully perform outside the actual trial.
Criminal Defense Attorneys Need Licensing
When you have attained the educational requirements needed to become a criminal defense lawyer, you need to be licensed by the state in order to practice.
You need to complete a written examination before you are admitted to the licensing body, namely, the Bar Association. To be accepted, it is imperative to have studied in a law program that is accredited by the Bar Association.
As a criminal defense lawyer, you can work for a private firm, the government, or you may start your legal practice. However, you should expect to work long hours since the job involves a great many things, such as lengthy administrative tasks and court proceedings.
In conclusion, to become a criminal defense attorney, you need a bachelor’s degree followed by an additional degree in a three-year law program. It is in this program that you specialize in criminal law.
Once you have qualified, you will be expected to take the state’s bar exam to become a licensed attorney. By law, no attorney can practice without a license, so you make sure that you are accredited before you begin to practice.
It is your duty to be exemplary as a legal practitioner. Lastly, to gain a solid reputation as a criminal defense attorney, maintain good relationships with your clients and peers, and understand that case preparation and research are two crucial aspects that you should pour your heart and soul into before trials.