While there are multiple types of law you can practice after graduating from law school and passing the bar, you may want to look at some of the top reasons to become a defense attorney.
The criminal justice system in America relies heavily on both defense attorneys and prosecuting attorneys. Prosecutors are the ones who bring forth evidence to charge a suspected criminal, while a defense attorney attempts to defend that person and show why the individual is not guilty. Working as a defense attorney is a good option for those who want to help others.
Follow the Constitution
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives all American citizens the right to legal counsel and legal representation. Working as a defense attorney gives you the chance to learn more about constitutional law and to follow the standards put forth in that document. While you may work with poor clients, you can also work with wealthier clients too.
Protect the Rights of Others
One of the top reasons to become a defense attorney is because you have the chance to protect the rights of others. Laws require that prosecutors gather enough evidence to present to a judge and jury that proves without a reasonable doubt that a suspected criminal is guilty. As a defense attorney, you need to show that your client is innocent or that there is not enough evidence to prosecute. You essentially protect the rights of clients from criminal prosecution.
Make More Money
Defense attorneys can make quite a bit of money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median salary for lawyers is nearly $116,000 a year. Those making the highest salaries are those working for private firms and in private practice. The clients who come to you have the money necessary to pay your costs as well as the cost of hiring any experts to work on that case. You can also work for a local agency that provides free or reduced cost legal services for clients who make less money.
Have More Flexibility
During your time in law school, you’ll hear horror stories about what it’s like working in a law firm as a recent graduate. You’ll hear about attorneys working 60 hours or more a week and how new lawyers seldom have time for themselves. One of the reasons to become a defense attorney though is that defense attorneys often have more flexible schedules than other lawyers do. Once you gain more experience, you can decide which cases you want to take on and how you want to divide up the work. You can use associates and others in your practice to prepare for that case without that case taking over your life.
Help Those Who Cannot Help Themselves
One of the top reasons to become a defense attorney is because you’ll have the chance to help others who cannot help themselves. Working in a legal aid office or for a civil rights organization lets you work on cases that involve an individual charged with a crime who does not have the financial means to hire a lawyer. These clients may suffer from mental diseases, have a lack of education or have a history of criminal activities in the past. With your help, they can escape their criminal charges.
Defense attorneys sometimes have a bad reputation because people think they only help the guilty and that they only work with the wealthy. As a defense attorney, you can select the clients you want to work with every day. Helping the poor and having a flexible schedule are just a few of the reasons to become a defense attorney.
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