Criminal Defense Lawyer: Job Description and RequirementsJuni 14, 2018
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all criminal defense lawyers need to be licensed with the state (www.bls.gov). To be admitted to the bar association, a written examination is completed in addition to an ethics examination. There is no nationwide bar examination, but the majority of states use the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE).The states that don’t use the MBE normally use the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE). The MBE is a six-hour examination while the MEE is a three-hour test. The qualifications for most bar examinations include possessing a college degree and graduating from a law program accredited by the American Bar Association.The BLS stated in May of 2015 that the median annual salary for lawyers was $115,820. Furthermore, the BLS predicts 6% job growth for lawyers between 2014 and 2024.Criminal defense attorneys may work for a law firm or begin their own law firm, and can expect to work long hours, particularly when preparing for court proceedings. Their job involves research and case preparation that may include visiting prisons, hospitals, law libraries and other venues relevant to the case they’re working on. After they’ve conducted an investigation of the factors involved in their case they determine the best strategy for court and then utilize that strategy during the trial.