There are 3 steps to becoming a criminal lawyer.
- Complete an undergraduate degree
- Obtain a law degree
- Pass the bar exam in your jurisdiction
Once you have finished these steps, you can start your legal practice. Generally, new lawyers start under other lawyers on a lower stipend. They mostly handle rudimentary stuff but it can help prepare a good foundation.
The skills you’ll develop under someone else include legal documentation, reporting, collecting evidence, and observing court manners, among other things. Let’s have a closer look at the steps to becoming a criminal lawyer and succeeding in the trade.
Step 1: Undergraduate degree
The undergraduate degree is the foundation that is pretty compulsory for nearly all professional careers. This can be a degree in any discipline as law schools don’t need you to have a specific stream to enroll in their degree programs.
If you want to start as soon as possible, then you can begin as a paralegal.
Step 2: Law degree
The law degree is where you learn the trade, or its basics at least. A law degree can be a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree. To enroll in a law school in a college or university for this, you will need step 1.
Lawyers are in great demand. The better you perform in law school, the better your chances of beating the competition when it comes to looking for jobs and practicing law.
Step 3: Bar exam
Passing the bar exam is the final stamp you need. After this, you can start giving legal advice without a problem. The bar exam gives you a certification and confirms that you have practically graduated from a student to someone with a legal career.
Just who is this someone is what you build upon from here on out.
Step 4: Practice under someone else
You’ll most likely need to do your initial practice under someone else. Esteemed lawyers and big law firms are always looking for freshers who have just passed their bar exam. Consider this your internship period.
Higher studies such as a Master’s degree often allow you to punch above your weight and pitch yourself to better lawyers.
Step 5: Become a lawyer
Once you feel comfortable enough and have a network of sorts, you can start contemplating about:
- Independent practice: You can either go solo or found a law firm depending on your resources and network.
- Better job: You can go after a good position in a big law firm once you have a few years of legal practice under your belt.
When life throws you a tough one, make the best of it and move on. That’s the way. Even if you lose a few cases or perform poorly in your studies, it still doesn’t say anything about your career in general. Many great lawyers have come from rather disconcerting backgrounds with poor performance in their initial practice.
Do you want to be counted among the experienced criminal lawyers Scarborough? Or anywhere else in Canada? Follow these steps and good luck!