Becoming a lawyer is a long and strenuous process. For the right person, however, the wait is well worth it. It take a very trusting person to become a criminal defense lawyer, and there are some hard steps that one needs to take in order to get there. This is how to become a criminal defense attorney:
Obtain a Four-Year Degree
The first step towards practicing criminal law it by earning a four-year degree fron an accredited institution. You do not need to declare a specific major, however, some majors may be more useful than others in the long-run. Legal studies, naturally, is a great major to get a degree in in order to move on towards law school, as is criminology. Many other law students also graduate with undergraduate degrees in philosophy, journalism, political science, among others.
The most important step in an undergraduate career is to maintain a high GPA, as the law school admission boards look hard into your grades, as well as the difficulty of your course load.
Take the LSAT
The LSAT, or the Law School Admission Test, is a standardized examination that is necessary to take in order to complete any law school application. Students often take months to study for the exam, and often take it more than once in order to get the best possible score. Different law schools require different ranges of scores in order to consider admission. The more time is spent preparing, the better the chances are of receiving a higher score and being considered for more schools.
Complete Law Degree Requirements
After being admitted to the law school of your choosing, you must complete a number of degree requirements. You will need to learn a variety of law aspects that may or may not pertain to criminal law, although that area is very well covered. During your second and third year you will be able to select an area of concentration that will help you become an expert in the field. You may also apply for internships with criminal defense firms in order to expand your experience.
After sufficiently completing the requirements, usually within three years, you will be granted the degree of Juris Doctor.
Even after passing many tests in school, once you’ve earned your law degree, you must pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), which tests your knowledge of law ethics, as well as state?s bar examination, which tests your knowledge of the material you learned in law school, as well as the material required by your specific stat of practice.
After completing all of the above requirements and receiving passing scores on both the MPRE and the state bar exam, you are ready to practice criminal law. For more information see this.