With the ongoing prominence of TV shows like “Law and Order” and “CSI,” it’s often hard to parse what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to professions in criminal justice and law enforcement. What follows is a short guide on the real life job of a criminal defense lawyer, detailing their job responsibilities and day-to-day activities.
As most people know, the job of a criminal defense lawyer is to defend those charged with a crime. From the moment of arrest until and even after the end of the trial, a criminal defense lawyer is supposed to serve their client to the best of their ability, providing legal representation and counsel.
The price of a criminal attorney can vary greatly, and this figure is often determined by the quality of work put into the case, with some exceptions. That’s not to say that court-appointed or low cost criminal attorneys are no good; only that they almost certainly won’t have the same resources available as a more expensive attorney or firm.
Becoming a criminal defense attorney requires a significant amount of schooling, from undergraduate through law school and into the BAR exam. The requirements often differ from state to state, meaning attorneys who move are usually required to retake the exam. The schooling is immensely expensive, which incentivizes lawyers to charge higher rates to recoup the cost of their schooling. It’s important to remember the issue is systemic rather than individualized, but individuals can work to fight against the systemic injustices.
The job of the criminal defense lawyer is an important one. Many people convicted of crimes are innocent, and even the ones who aren’t deserve a fair trial. Criminal defense attorneys are meant to ensure that this fair trial takes place, and to put together the best defense possible for their client.
The position of a criminal defense lawyer attracts a varied kind of people. Some are definitely looking to get rich, but others genuinely want to help folks. If you’re searching for a criminal defense attorney, it’s important to find one who suits your needs and case. If you’re thinking about becoming one, it’s important to think long and hard about why you want to do this work.
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