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Criminal Lawyers

Overview
Criminal Lawyer—Career Q&A: Professional Advice and Insight

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Criminal law focuses on crime, that is, acts committed in violation of a law. This field of law is concerned with an individual’s relation to society; in fact, criminal acts are considered offenses against all members of a society even if the acts were committed against only one person. Anyone who breaks criminal laws may be punished with prison time or fines. Two types of lawyers are employed in the field of criminal law: prosecuting attorneys (also known as district attorneys and by other titles), who represent the cities, counties, states, or the federal government in court proceedings against the accused (known as defendants), and defense lawyers, who represent the accused in court. Defense lawyers work for criminal defense law firms or are self-employed. Defendants who do not have enough money to hire a defense attorney are represented by public defenders (also known as indigent lawyers), who are employed and paid by the government to represent clients.  

Salary Range

$50,000 to $100,000+

Minimum Education Level

Law Degree

Certification/License

Required

Outlook

About as Fast as the Average
Personality Traits

Helpful

Organized

Problem-Solving

Career Ladder
Partner, Judge, or Law Professor

Prosecuting Attorney or Defense Attorney

Assistant Attorney

Law Clerk