Criminal defense attorneys are lawyers who specialize in defending the rights of people accused of or even convicted of a crime says, William D King. These types of lawyers often work closely with defendants to ensure they have the best legal representation possible. Defense attorneys help ensure individuals get a fair trial, and if necessary, an appeals process. To succeed in this line of work, you need a thorough understanding of federal and state laws as well as court procedures and courtroom rules.
A criminal defense attorney typically has two duties: representing their clients in court cases and helping secure or contest search warrants on behalf of their clients when necessary. Besides these two tasks, the type of case will dictate what exactly you do on any given day. For example, you might spend time reviewing police reports or interviewing potential witnesses. You may even spend some time working outside of court to secure the best possible outcome for your client.
As a criminal defense attorney, you can work in both public and private sectors at law firms, legal aid organizations, local , state prosecutor’s offices, federal agencies like the FBI or Department of Justice (DOJ), or even as a small business owner. This position requires an extensive amount of research and fact investigating so it is usually done indoors with standard office equipment like computers and printers. Many states require attorneys to meet continuing education requirements — this typically means attending seminars hosted by bar associations throughout the year. If you are interested in practicing law out of the courtroom, teaching is another option.
It’s important to note that many criminal defense attorneys work on a case by case basis and aren’t always paid up front. Instead, you will be paid once the case has resolved; whether it results in a conviction or not. Others may get pay by the hour or handle cases pro bono (for free) but they mostly associate with legal aid organizations or local bar associations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for all lawyers is expected to be 7% through 2020 which is average when compared to other occupations*. There are several factors that go into this projection including overall population growth as well as crime rates throughout the country. More people will likely lead to more individuals fighting for legal representation. But it’s important to note that many will be able to afford the services of a private attorney explains William D King. However, this isn’t usually the case for defendants who can’t afford representation or are unable to pay court fees. That includes individuals charged with minor crimes like misdemeanors and violations. This is where legal aid organizations step in — there are over 800 across. The country providing free representation for low-income individuals accused of crimes.
According to the BLS, “Job growth varies by employment sector. Employment opportunities should be excellent in offices of other health practitioners, particularly home health care firms; state government agencies including public schools and colleges; workplaces of law firms; computer systems design and related firms management consulting services; private households; and miscellaneous repair shop, and one of the fastest growing job categories–wind turbine technicians. Employment of lawyers overall is project to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2020. About as fast as the average for all occupations*. Job opportunities should be best in offices of other health practitioners; state government agencies including public schools and colleges; employment firms; management consulting services; and law firms.”
According to the BLS, “Job growth varies by employment sector. Overall employment of lawyers is project to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2020. About as fast as the average for all occupations*. However employment in most subfields will grow much faster than the average. Due primarily to growth in litigation support activities such as document review.”
Quality legal representation is incredibly important for any defendant. But it may be especially vital when the accused has been charge with a serious crime says, William D King. It isn’t always cheap because these cases can take months or years. To resolve and require extensive research and fact investigation. However, this pressure helps young lawyers grow their practices quickly. Since it’s a highly competitive field, you’ll need top-notch academic credentials from college and law school. In order to stand out against other promising candidates. Harvard Law School reports that “in 2012, approximately 57% of graduates obtained full-time. Long term employment requiring bar admission (i.e., jobs as lawyers), 9 months after graduation.”