A defense attorney can be a brilliant career option for today’s youngsters. This article will help you know how to become a defense attorney, in a stepwise manner.
Criminal defense attorneys are required in the judicial system to represent people accused of different crimes. Over the years, demand for these professionals has been constantly rising, and as per job market reports, the salary of defense attorneys has risen by fifteen to twenty-five percent across various locations. So, if you think that law is your field of interest, then the job description will definitely interest you. In the following paragraph, let us see what a defense attorney does, before we actually understand how to become one.
Defense attorneys present evidence in the court to protect their clients from the accusations made against them. Most times, it has been observed that accused are not completely aware of their legal rights. A qualified defense attorney can personally interact with them and explain these rights systematically, which can really make matters easy for the accused.
A defense attorney has to study many cases and compare them to the situation of his client. He has to find points on the basis of which he can prove the client’s innocence. He takes help of available data, and obtains information from police officials and detectives, to go deep into the case. Defense attorneys work for clients who are sent to them by the court or who approach them personally for their services. One of the main attorney duties is to try to get least possible sentence for their clients.
Becoming a Defense Attorney
- Becoming a defense attorney requires you to enroll at a renowned law school.
- However, before that, you need to obtain your bachelor’s degree in a suitable field.
- You should make sure that your undergraduate degree is from an accredited institute, to get admission into your dream law school.
- Law school entrance requires you to give the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) examination.
- High scores in this exam are required by most law schools, and hence you will have to prepare thoroughly for the same.
- Apart from education from a law school, you can work as an intern in a private law firm under the guidance of experienced and famous lawyers.
- This will give you the much necessary practical exposure.
- State exams are also a must for lawyers, and you need to clear them to start your practice.
- Most law pass-outs generally start off as a public defender to gain valuable experience.
- After that, you can choose to work either in the public sector or the private sector, as per your liking.
- Though the private sector jobs are considered to be more lucrative and financially rewarding, the public sector jobs are also extremely prestigious.
- If you successfully clear all your exams, then you can become a defense attorney in seven years after high school.
Defense Attorney Salaries
Defense attorney salaries largely depend on their educational qualifications, the institute from which they pass out, work experience, sector of work, and type of employer. Private sector attorneys make much more as compared to the public sector attorneys. Attorneys working for large private firms will make more money as compared to those working for smaller firms. The salaries are more in the top metropolitan cities as compared to the smaller cities and towns.
The starting salaries for defense attorneys can be between $55,000 to $70,000 per year. Those graduating from top law schools can draw anything between $75,000 to $110,000 per year. Salaries for highly experienced ones is between $120,000 to $150,000 per year.
So, by now, you must be very clear about how to become a defense attorney. This is an exciting career option for those who like law subjects. So, work hard to safeguard your career and start with your preparation immediately. All the best!