How do I Become a Felony Lawyer?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 14 January 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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The process to become a felony lawyer is fairly straightforward. Like any division of the legal field, you must first decide to pursue a law degree at an institution accredited by your country or the region of your country where you intend to practice. Then you should seek out internship opportunities that provide you with an up-close look at criminal law. Depending on the job, you may start by handling misdemeanors or simple felonies, and then move your way up.

The law degree and bar certification are the two most important steps to becoming a lawyer in the United States. While you may want to become a felony lawyer, you will not have the ability to practice any type of law until these two things take place. Often, the process of passing the bar and graduating with a law degree may happen nearly simultaneously, but it is possible for students to wait weeks, months, or even years after earning their law degrees before they take the bar exam.


During your time in school, you may want to focus on internships that deal with criminal law, versus some other type of law. This may include work in a public defender's office, or even a local prosecutor's office. Even if you want to become a defense attorney, understanding how prosecutors think and why they act the way they do is invaluable information. Having well rounded internships on both sides of the law may actually help you become a felony lawyer faster.

After graduation and bar certification, there are a few options. You may choose to go into private practice, join a pre-existing private practice, work as a public defender, or go into the prosecution side. No matter which path you choose, you should be able to become a felony lawyer as long as you perform your job duties adequately. This means staying organized and on top of cases, understanding that most cases are decided outside of a courtroom and always placing your client's best interests ahead of your own.

Once you are in a private defense practice, you will likely be asked to handle a variety of cases. Some of these may be felonies and others may be less serious crimes. When attorneys are just starting out, they often will handle cases that other attorneys are too busy to litigate, or may be handed cases that allow others to assess the attorney's skills. Therefore, do not feel bad if you do not become a felony lawyer overnight. As long as you prove yourself to be responsible, the bigger cases will eventually come.



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