The sixth amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees everybody accused of a crime the right to a lawyer. A defense attorney is a lawyer for someone who is a defendant, a person, or corporation that has been accused of a crime in a court of law. The defense attorney fights for their clients' interests in court.
A defense attorney could work as a public defender, a lawyer who represents people who are too poor to afford their own attorney. They could have their own practice or work for a private corporation. No matter who they work for, a defense attorney prepares a client's case, argues it in front of a judge, and helps their client understand their options.
The job of a defense attorney is far from easy. They often have high caseloads and work long hours until the job is done. The road to becoming a defense attorney is also tricky. They need to earn a bachelor's degree, complete law school, and pass the bar before becoming an attorney. But for many defense attorneys, the satisfaction of getting clients a second chance is worth the work.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a defense attorney. For example, did you know that they make an average of $47.58 an hour? That's $98,963 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 50,100 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many defense attorneys have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be a defense attorney, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.4% of defense attorneys included legal advice, while 11.8% of resumes included defense counsel, and 10.5% of resumes included legal documents. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.
When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the defense attorney job title. But what industry to start with? Most defense attorneys actually find jobs in the professional and government industries.
If you're interested in becoming a defense attorney, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 13.6% of defense attorneys have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.3% of defense attorneys have master's degrees. Even though most defense attorneys have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a defense attorney. When we researched the most common majors for a defense attorney, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on defense attorney resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a defense attorney. In fact, many defense attorney jobs require experience in a role such as law clerk. Meanwhile, many defense attorneys also have previous career experience in roles such as attorney or internship.