Equality under the law is at the heart of every progressive society. So regardless of how heinous a crime you may be charged with, the law allows you to defend yourself. That is where criminal justice lawyers come into play. They make sure that the state does not punish an individual unless there is tangible evidence to do that. Indeed, it is an enormous responsibility because societies go through chaos when innocent parties undergo an unfair sentence.
Therefore, as a criminal defense attorney, you have to be always on top of your game. Now it sounds like quite a challenge. But if you follow the proper pathway, you can do wonderfully well in this profession. We have designed a roadmap that will increase your odds of becoming a successful criminal justice lawyer:
Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree
First and foremost, you will require a bachelor’s degree to earn admission to a law school. According to the ABA (American Bar Association), a prelaw student does not need to qualify in a specific study area. Whether you have done your bachelor’s in the subject of natural science, social science, or arts, you can get enrolled in a law school.
However, we would recommend you to do a bachelor’s in philosophy, sociology, political science, or psychology. These subjects will consolidate the foundation in the long run. To make your life easier, you may also earn an online pre law degree from the comfort of your home.
Typically, admission in law schools also involves LSAT (Law School Admission Test). The test score reflects candidates’ quality and gives a hint to the administration whether the applicant is good enough or not.
It bears worth mentioning that the selection of a law school can make or break your entire career. Thus, you must dive into the following two critical factors before filling the application form:
- Consider the campus size: Odd as it may sound; the campus size can have a considerable influence during the academic years. A big law school means you will have more resources at your disposal, not to mention the diversity. On the other hand, a small law school is unlikely to offer these benefits.
- Ranking matters: Ranking is directly proportional to the performance of an institute. And law schools are no exception to that. Unlike the past, coming to terms with the ranking list is not a tough nut to crack. You have to check into the search engine.
Hone Your Investigation Ability
The art of investigation is instrumental for a criminal lawyer. You can up your game a few notches just by improving the probing game. The reason being, you have to often rescue your clients by finding loopholes in the police reports and collected evidence. Therefore, it is mandatory to dig deep and find out the missing pieces in the picture. Photos, text messages, phone calls, and videos; ask yourself is there anything you can discover to strengthen your position?
Admittedly, as time goes by, the trait of investigation has been declining among criminal lawyers. Most of them do not bother visiting the crime scene, let alone finding their witnesses. But these are the steps that usually make the difference between a win and a loss.
There is no hard and fast rule to refine investigation skills. It is something that comes with time and practice. Hang in there, keep focusing on tiny details, and you will eventually learn it rather sooner than later.
Pay Attention to Public Speaking
Being good at public speaking is inevitable for a criminal justice lawyer. You will have to tap into public speaking during both studies and professional life. Unlike other professions, addressing the public will not be a once in a while thing. It will be a frequent task.
That said, the mere mention of public speaking scares the hell out of so many people. If you are one of them, you need to conquer this fear right off the bat. Here are a few tips that will virtually transform you as a public speaker:
- Practice: The more you practice, the better you get at something. The rule equally applies to public speaking. By rehearsing a speech, you could come to terms with flaws and overcome them down the road. Eventually, you will feel much more confident about your arguments regardless of how experienced the jury or jam-packed the courtroom maybe.
- Anticipate questions: Predicting possible queries can help you to prepare ahead of time. Resultantly, you could formulate more detailed and insightful responses. The best way to anticipate questions is to put yourself in the audience’s shoes that will listen to your speech.
- Work on the body language: Public speaking is not all about what you say, but also how you say it. From facial expressions to physical postures, people will notice your body language. A good speech complemented by powerful body language can cast a spell on listeners.
Polish Your Legal Writing
Engaging in complete writing is part and parcel of criminal lawyers’ routine. What is more, every piece of their writing holds utmost importance because it stays on the record. Hence, it must be precisely written. Also, it would help if you used language that could easily convey your point of view. A minor error in the written documents from your side may turn the entire case topsy-turvy.
Leverage Internship Opportunities
It is quite understandable to be eager about kick-starting the law practice once you finish studying. Well, the internship is an ideal way to get on with the professional journey. It can provide you an ample opportunity to explore yourself because you will have nothing at stake.
The Final Verdict
As mentioned above, becoming a criminal justice lawyer comes with a substantial burden of responsibility. So you should not leave any stone unturned to ensure the maximum utilization of your potential. The course of actions discussed in this write-up can aid you in achieving this objective.