Employment And Policy Law In Criminal Justice Agencies

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Employment and Policy Law in Criminal Justice Agencies

Employment and Policy Law In Criminal Justice Agencies

Criminal Law Practice Overview

Criminal Law Practice

Criminal Law Practice is an exciting and vital part of our legal system. Criminal lawyers represent the State or individuals on a wide range of crimes ranging from simple misdemeanor traffic violations to first degree murder. Lawyers engaged in criminal law practice work for a governmental agency on either the federal, state or local level, or, in the case of non-indigent defense work, for small or solo private practices. Criminal lawyers work at the trial or appellate level; have a good grasp of courtroom procedures and the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Skills Most Important for A Criminal Lawyer

Criminal Lawyers must deal with clients and constituents during the most stressful times of their lives. As prosecutors you may have to counsel victims who have suffered life altering attacks or families who have lost loved ones. As a defense attorney you may be representing a client whose conviction could cost them their jobs, families or even their life. Criminal lawyers must face these issues often while carrying extremely large case loads and working in a system that is overtaxed. Because of the seriousness of these issues and the nature of the system criminal lawyers must possess a large set of lawyering skills: including; negotiating, investigating, litigation and counseling.

Gaining Experience and Getting Employed

A variety of opportunities are available for gaining hands-on experience. Most students work on a volunteer basis through their first and second years and continue to gain experience with externships and, sometimes, paid positions during the third year of law school. While in law school there are multiple ways to get valuable experience in criminal law which are discussed below including:

1. Extern for a government agency

2. Intern for a judge in a criminal division

3. Serve as a research assistant for a professor teaching in the field

4. Get a mentor working in the area.

Students who meet eligibility requirements may also serve as student attorneys, under Supreme Court Rule 7.11, which enables students to work for authorized agencies as counsel in court with supervision by licensed attorneys. Holding a 7.11 license can enhance experience and employability. Please go to http://www.jmls.edu/finditem.cfm?itemid=1968 for additional information and downloadable forms.

Types of Employers in Criminal Law



The U.S. Department of Justice handles criminal matters for the federal government. The DOJ offers opportunities for law students, entry-level and experienced attorneys. Summer interns may work in the following departments: Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Environment & Natural Resources and Tax Divisions; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Office of Justice Programs; the Executive Office for Immigration Review; the Professional Responsibility Advisory Office; and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In addition, the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of Legal Counsel hire 2 to 4 graduating third-year students each year. Students working for these departments will be placed in Washington, D.C. Students wishing to work for one the ...
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