Criminal attorneys are one of several different types of attorneys. These lawyers work in criminal and penal law either as a district attorney (DA) or as a defense attorney. The types of cases taken on by these criminal attorneys may include everything from misdemeanors to felony crimes like homicide and drug dealing. The criminal law industry is one of the most popular law fields to go into, because it offers such a wide variety of different case types that each attorney can specialize in as they choose. Law is a very competitive industry. About 27% of all criminal attorneys are self-employed.
The formal requirements associated with becoming a criminal attorney include at least a four-year college degree, followed by three years of law school. Following the third year of law school, a written bar exam will need to be taken and passed before graduates can be licensed to practice law. The requirements associated with criminal attorney positions and their education do tend to vary at least slightly from one state to the next, so it is important to look into these requirements for your state before pursuing a degree. The competition for entrance into most prestigious law firms is quite intense, and competition for many criminal attorney jobs
is just as keen because of how many students graduate from law school every year with the aim of becoming a criminal defense attorney.
The most detailed aspects of a criminal defense attorney's duties
depend on his or her specialization, as well as the individual position held. All lawyers are licensed in a way that allows them to represent parties in court, but some criminal attorney jobs require more time in court than others. Criminal law and penal law are specialties of the criminal attorney, and involve a number of different fields of specialization and work, including counterfeiting, fraud, white-collar crime, drug dealing, criminal appeals, sexual harassment, money laundering, false claims, fraud, homicide and more. As a criminal attorney, you are either a defense attorney or involved with the district attorney's office. Some criminal attorney jobs are public defender jobs
, which means you are paid by the state instead of by the individual client.
Want to continue reading ?
Become a subscriber to LawCrossing's Job Seeker articles.
Once you become a subscriber you will have unlimited access to all of LawCrossing Job Seeker's articles.
There is absolutely no cost!
Already a member? Login | Forgot your password
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys
jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.
The website is really very easy to use.
LawCrossing Fact #21: Users can save various searches that they have used on LawCrossing.
Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.