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How do I Become an Assault Defense Attorney?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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To become an assault defense attorney, a person must generally complete high school, college, and law school. In most areas, she must successfully take and pass the legal bar examination in the area where she wants to practice law as well. It may also be helpful to find an internship during law school that focuses on criminal defense and to take any criminal law classes that are offered. When job searching, it is important to be open to a wide range of opportunities, such as private criminal defense firms, government-operated public defenders, and non-profit criminal defense groups

Although a solid high school and college education is essential to become an assault defense attorney, most people will not focus on criminal law until they enter law school. If classes are offered during high school or college, it may be beneficial to take them. Many law schools offer a wide range of classes that may be useful to people wanting to become an assault defense attorney. These classes may cover broad issues related to criminal law, juvenile law, or they may even focus on tips and techniques that can prove helpful when defending a client who has been charged with a crime, such as assault.

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In many areas, a person cannot practice law nor become an assault defense attorney until she has passed the bar examination in the area where she wishes to work. Many people start looking for jobs even before they take the bar examination; it is common, however, for employers to delay a final job offer until the bar examination results are revealed. In many cases, criminal defense law firms prefer that their employees have experience in the field of criminal law. As a result, it may be beneficial to volunteer or work during law school in a law firm that specializes in criminal defense.

Other ways to become an assault defense attorney include finding a job in the non-profit sector or with the public defender's office. Occasionally, it may be difficult to find a job working in criminal defense. In that case, it may be helpful to search for jobs prosecuting criminals. Many times employers appreciate it when their lawyers who want to become assault defense attorneys have experience working both sides of a case. Not only may such experience create a stronger and better-prepared lawyer, but it may provide a valuable set of contacts that can be useful while working a criminal law case.

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