6 Qualifications That Help In Becoming A Criminal Lawyer

5 min read


Pursuing a career in law is one of the most demanding and time-consuming professions people can have. Many people dream of becoming a lawyer for many reasons. Some pursue law because they want to help other people. Others do so because of their childhood dreams. While some simply love the thrill of solving cases and defending people for the better.


You can choose from many fields to pursue a law career. You can become a lawyer, judge, general counsel, and more. Indeed, the opportunities are endless when choosing a career in law. Being a lawyer alone offers options that fit people’s characteristics, preferences, and expertise. One of the famous ones is a career as a criminal lawyer.


What does a criminal lawyer do?

Indeed.com describes criminal lawyers as people who defend or prosecute individuals or organisations with criminal cases. Criminal lawyers are responsible for gathering and identifying witnesses in a criminal case. They interview witnesses to examine crime scenes and find evidence that develops winning strategies for their case.


Criminal lawyers build good defences that are advantageous for their clients. They draft, file, and counter appeals for their cases. Some criminal lawyers work on “pro-bono” cases where they don’t charge the public any fees and do it out of good intentions. 


Since criminal cases are sensitive, confidential, and emotional, criminal lawyers are controversial in the public and the media. But despite that, being one is rewarding and fulfilling. If you want to become one, here are some qualifications you can work on to become a criminal lawyer.


1 – Take and complete an undergraduate law course.

One of the qualifications that mark the beginning of a law path for you is completing an undergraduate course related to law. Some people pursue a course in legal studies or political science as their pre-law degree. But there are also other courses such as Psychology, Business, Economics, Communication, and more.


If you want to expand your knowledge regarding another field, you can take a pre-law course that does not focus on law. That way, you can explore other fields and focus on law once you’re in law school.


2 – Pass the entrance exam to qualify for law school.

After you complete your bachelor’s degree, it’s time for you to study for the entrance exam your country requires to qualify for law school. Some countries have the LSAT or the Law School Admissions Test. Some no longer require one but would need to pass the LAE or Law Aptitude Examination in their chosen school.


The purpose of the entrance exam is for schools to assess if an individual knows how to study and practise law. The test allows them to check the knowledge of individuals in diverse subject matters and whether they’re capable of more critical subjects.


3 – Complete law school.

If you successfully pass the exam you need for law school, it’s time for you to do the work and learn about law. For other criminal lawyer aspirers, choice of school is critical in law school. Others consider and prioritise a school’s curriculum, success rate, and expertise in shaping the best lawyers.


In law school, you’ll learn about constitutional law, civil procedures, international law, criminal law, tort, environmental law, and other lessons that will nourish your knowledge of the law. In short, law school will serve as your preparation for your career in law.


4 – Pass the bar exam to obtain your license.

After you complete law school, you can take the bar exam to earn your license. Bar exams for law are considered one of the most challenging exams for a license. Many aspiring lawyers take the exam more than once because of its difficulty.


It doesn’t matter how many retakes you have to pass the bar exam because its passing rate can be overwhelming. But these are the exams you should take seriously and prepare for because you won’t become a lawyer without them. You won’t obtain a law license without passing the bar.


5 – Take the oath and sign your name in the Roll of Attorneys to become a full-fledged attorney.

After passing the bar exam, you can take the oath and attend the ceremony to celebrate your success in becoming a licensed attorney. After you take the oath, you can sign your name in the roll of attorneys to register your license and name.


Doing this makes your license official and for the law to recognise it. Once you register your name and obtain your license, you can try various experiences relating to criminal law.


6 – Try various experiences relating to the criminal law profession. 

Some people think that after an aspiring lawyer passes the bar exam and earns their license, they can become a criminal lawyer immediately. Yes, others immediately practise becoming a criminal defence attorney, while others take the time to gain work experience and expand their knowledge in real-life law.


Some practise their profession immediately because they took internships and associate positions in law school. But for others who focused on law school, it’s best to gain work experience before practising your dream profession. Since you’ll be working on confidential cases, learning from experienced criminal lawyers and how they handle cases is the best way to expand your knowledge and learn about the field.


Becoming a criminal lawyer takes a long process, but it’s rewarding and provides many growth opportunities.

These qualifications showcase how challenging it is to pursue a law career. But even though there are many requirements and qualifications you’ll need to go through, it’s one of the life-changing journeys that will provide you with so much growth and learning opportunities that go beyond law-related matters. 



Written by Bianca Banda

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