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To become a justice advisor, you will likely need to complete a law degree program and obtain a license to practice law. Most jurisdictions offer this position at five levels which are generally based on the number of years practicing criminal law. You will need to complete four years of undergraduate studies before entering law school and you may want to focus your bachelor's degree on criminal justice. This profession places a heavy emphasis on experience and you may want to seek part-time employment with a legal firm or government agency while in school.
A bachelor's degree program in criminal justice will involve courses that include special topics in criminal justice, criminological theory, organized crime, and criminal enforcement strategies. After the completion of several of these courses, you should begin seeking an internship in the field. Most internships require that you have completed at least nine credit hours of criminal justice or sociology coursework and consent from a professor. Some of these internships may be repeated for six credit hours and different positions within the legal field will help you become a justice advisor.
Once you have completed your bachelor's degree, you will need to enroll in law school and begin working on your Juris Doctorate degree (J.D.). Most law schools will require that you have at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) and have completed several criminological theory courses during your bachelor's program. This program typically takes at least two years and may include courses such as civil procedure, contracts, constitutional law, and administration of justice. Law school will help prepare you for the local examinations needed to practice law which are required to become a justice advisor. Due to the experience requirements of this profession, you will need to seek employment in the legal field.
Several jobs that you may want to consider include prosecutor, defense attorney, court administrator, or judge. Each level will require that you have a certain amount of experience before you can become a justice advisor. Three years of experience is required for level one; five years experience can lead to level two. With 10 years experience, you can qualify for level three, while level four requires a combination of five years experience in criminal law and five years with international law. Level five is a supervisory position; to become a justice advisor at this level, you'll need at least 12 years criminal justice experience and at least seven years of supervisory experience.
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