You've probably heard of the term 'D.A.' in crime shows and police movies, but what exactly does a D.A. or district attorney do?
By definition, a district attorney is a lawyer who is elected by local government officials to represent the state government in criminal cases that are brought in a judicial district. Their duties include reviewing police reports, determining whether to charge the arrested people and prosecuting cases in court.
As you would probably expect, the job of a district attorney is far from easy. They usually manage a large amount of caseload to prepare for hearings or litigation. On top of that, they also perform various admin tasks like issuing subpoenas and screening depositions apart from their main duties in court.
The road to becoming a district attorney is a long one. An aspiring D.A. will have to earn an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited bachelor's degree, go to law school, complete an internship, pass the bar, get trial experience, and finally, succeed in enough cases to become selected as the district attorney.
If this sounds like a lot of work, consider it as an investment for a yearly salary that can go up to around $76,000 a year.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a district attorney. For example, did you know that they make an average of $30.46 an hour? That's $63,353 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 district 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 district attorney, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.9% of district attorneys included legal advice, while 11.7% of resumes included criminal cases, and 10.9% of resumes included pre-trial motions. 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 district attorney job title. But what industry to start with? Most district attorneys actually find jobs in the health care and non profits industries.
If you're interested in becoming a district attorney, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 26.6% of district attorneys have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.9% of district attorneys have master's degrees. Even though most district attorneys have a college degree, it's possible 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 district attorney. When we researched the most common majors for a district attorney, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on district attorney resumes include master's degree degrees or associate degree degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a district attorney. In fact, many district attorney jobs require experience in a role such as law clerk. Meanwhile, many district attorneys also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or legal extern.