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How Do I Become a DWI Lawyer?

Some criminal defense attorneys specialize in DUI and DWI cases.
A DWI includes driving while drunk as well as driving while consuming alcohol.
Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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To become a driving while intoxicated (DWI) lawyer, you will typically have to graduate from high school, earn a bachelor’s degree, and then earn a law degree from an accredited law school. Participating in internships in this field may also help you as you prepare for this career. In fact, some law schools may even require students to participate in internships as part of their educational programs. After you have graduated from law school, in many jurisdictions you will have one more step to take to become a DWI lawyer: passing a jurisdiction-required legal exam.

Your first step toward becoming a DWI lawyer is likely to be earning a high school diploma. Most colleges require this as a condition of admission. In lieu of that, you may test for a jurisdiction-approved equivalency diploma. There are no specific high school classes you’ll have to take to become a DWI lawyer, but taking challenging academic courses may help to boost your chances of gaining admittance to the college of your choice. Composition courses and classes that help you build public-speaking skills may prove helpful as you prepare for this career as well.

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Once you are enrolled in college, you will typically have to pursue a bachelor’s degree as preparation to become a DWI lawyer. You can usually choose any major you want and are not limited to choosing pre-law or justice majors. In fact, many people gain admission to law school after pursuing psychology or history majors. Law schools are more likely to be concerned with the grades you earned in college as well as the activities you participated in than your choice of majors. They may, however, also consider personal recommendations, essays, and pre-admission test scores in determining whether you will make a good law student.

You will likely spend about three years in law school as you study to become a DWI lawyer. In most cases, you will pursue a range of courses that cover various types of law; many of these courses will be mandatory. When you have an opportunity to choose courses, however, you may do well to select those that focus on criminal law. While you are in law school, you may also participate in DWI law internships in preparation for this career. For example, you may intern with a law firm that handles DWI cases or works with an organization that provides services to people who have been accused of driving while intoxicated.

After completing law school, you will usually have to pass legal licensing exam to become a DWI lawyer. In many jurisdictions, this exam is called a bar exam. After receiving a passing score, you are free to become a practicing lawyer in your jurisdiction.

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