Criminal Lawyers

Law Degree Specialty

Big image

What is a Criminal Lawyer?

Criminal lawyers, also known as criminal defense lawyers or public defenders, defend individuals, organizations and entities that have been charged with a crime. Criminal lawyers handle many criminal cases, ranging from domestic violence crimes, sex crimes, violent crimes and drug crimes to driving under the influence.

Job Description

  • Investigate the case and interview witnesses
  • Research case law, statutes, crime codes, and procedural law
  • Build a defense and develop a case strategy
  • Negotiate with the prosecution
  • Draft, file, and argue motions
  • Advocate for the defendant
  • Draft, file, and argue appeals

Education & Experience

Must obtain a law degree and pass the bar examination in any state they plan to practice in. Some Criminal Lawyers earn a board certification from the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC).

Criminal Lawyer Salaries

Public defender and non-profit salaries are usually in the range of $30,000-$50,000 per year. Criminal lawyers employed in law firms typically earn the most, whereas an experienced criminal lawyer can earn six figures.

Skills to Have

  • excellent oral and written advocacy skills
  • investigative and research skills
  • strong creative thinking and analytical skills
  • strong understanding of the law and common law practices
  • excellent interpersonal skills