Many have the dream of becoming one of the greatest criminal attorneys the world has ever seen. Standing up in court, defending those who need it most. Paving the way for a reformed justice system and helping people to live the life they deserve. This is a job that’s crucial for the justice system and without it, the whole system would fail.
It’s a great job so it’s no surprise how many people want a shot at it. However, although a rewarding profession, it requires hours of tireless and gruelling work. It’s certainly not easy and it takes years of training. Let’s discuss the steps of becoming a criminal defense attorney.
Go to law school
The first step to becoming the best defense attorney possible is to go to law school. Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Columbia are known as the most prestigious law schools but there are plenty of other great law schools out there. When in law school, you have to be dedicated to the cause. Law is not something you can wing, you need to spend as much time possible researching, learning and even practicing law. There are so many different laws out there, you certainly won’t be able to know all of them, which is why you’ll probably focus on a specific branch of law too. Some defense lawyers like to focus on homicidal cases, some like class action lawsuits. It all varies. At law school, you’ll often have to practice your newfound skills at a free clinic of some sort. This is where you can decide if law is really for you. Truthfully, it’s not for everyone. It’s a gruelling profession that demands a lot, but the thrill of winning a case is like no other.
Find an internship
Once you finish law school, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to jump right into a law firm and play a significant role. You need to earn your credentials and you can do that with an internship. Although you have just finished law school and may think you know everything, it’s important not to be too ambitious and overconfident. Overconfidence could result in mistakes being made which could tarnish your reputation before it’s even started. You need to work your way up in a law firm and the more experience you get, the better lawyer you become. Getting an internship will introduce you to the world of law and gradually, you will be able to pick up various skills from other lawyers and become wiser.
Decide what area of law you want to practice
Once you’ve been introduced to the real world of law, you will start to notice what excites you and what doesn’t. If you like anything that comes your way, that’s okay too. It’s good to have some variety otherwise work can become quite monotonous. However, there are some areas of law that do not appeal to all. For example, however thrilling homicide cases are, they’re not for everyone. When first starting out in the real world, it’s all about trial and error when finding the right fit. Sometimes, the perfect area to practice appears when you least expect it. Even if you do want to master one area of law, it’s still wise to be knowledgeable in more than one area. This is just to protect yourself in the long run. If a certain area of law isn’t working out for you, you have back up options. Plus, with more expertise, you could become co-council on other cases. Practicing different areas of law is a great way to keep up with changing laws while making sure you’re at the top of your game.
Remember, this job is tough and not every case will be a win, but with time and dedication, you could become the best defense attorney out there. There are a lot of hats to wear as an attorney and a lot of responsibilities to take on, but if you truly have a passion for the job, you’ll be able to succeed.
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