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Career Talk 101:  What Does a Criminal Lawyer Do?



What Does a Criminal Lawyer Do

What Does a Criminal Lawyer Do

Most of us have dreamt of becoming a “Lawyer” at least once in our lives. I mean Who wouldn’t? Being a Lawyer gives you the ability to make this world fair and just for everyone. As a head start,  a lawyer or attorney is generally a person who advocates, practices, prepares, interprets and applies the law. Basically, they define and serve justice in our society. 

A lawyer can also shed hope and save those people given injustice and are falsely accused. If you have particularly committed a crime or was a false suspect to a crime, then there’s a particular type of lawyer that can save you from all the trouble.  

These troubles can be handled by a criminal defense lawyer. Criminal Lawyers are also known as criminal defense lawyers and public defenders. They work to defend individuals, organizations, and entities that have been charged with a crime. They are also very much diverse and can handle a vast spectrum of criminal cases, ranging from domestic violence crimes, sex crimes, violent crimes and drug crimes, theft, embezzlement, fraud and the likes.

If you are one of those who almost lost faith and have continuously persevered in finding a great and reliable Criminal Lawyer, then we’ve already saved you from all the hassle. Check out Healthcare Fraud Group- they have the right, seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyers who deliver results!

Duties and Responsibilities

As Criminal Lawyers, they are tied to their Duties & Responsibilities like any other legal practitioner and profession. They represent defendants facing criminal charges in different courts. It is also a part of their job function to:

  • 1. Investigate the case and interview witnesses
  • 2. Research. From case law, statutes, crimes codes, and procedural law
  • 3. Build a defense and come up with a sound case strategy
  • 4. Negotiate to plea bargain to lesser charges (prosecution)
  • 5. Draft, file and argue motions such as motions to suppress and motion to dismiss
  • 6. Advocate for the defendant at trial and;
  • 7. Draft, file and argue appeals

Salary of a Criminal Lawyer

Now how much does a Criminal Lawyer earn? Does it pay well to be a Criminal Lawyer? A Criminal Lawyer’s salaries vary on the size and scope of the practice, the client whom the firm serves as well as the geographic location of the firm. We may also classify their salaries based on the group they represent like public defenders and non-profit salaries, they are usually modest, starting from $30,000. For those Criminal Lawyers employed in law firms, they earn the highest salaries wherein they can earn well into the six figures. The highest paid ones are often those with wealthy clients and high-stake cases.

Academic and Professional Background

To be a Criminal Lawyer, it requires you to have adequate education, training and certification. In order to practice, one should have the following requirements:

Education: Criminal lawyers must first complete bachelor’s degree, then obtain a law degree.

License: Must pass bar examination in the state they intend to practice their profession.

Certification: Earn board certification from the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC). 

Skills and Competencies

As a Criminal Lawyer, one must possess an additional and advanced level of skills in order for them to be outstanding in their jobs. This requires them to have excellent communication skills, both oral and written to argue and succeed in a client’s case before a judge as well as persuade a jury.

A Criminal Lawyer must also have exemplary Research and Investigative Skills to build a client’s case and establish a strong defense. Creativity and Analytical Skills are also key skill sets to develop a legal strategy and conquer complex cases.

Excellent interpersonal skills are also necessary in building a strong client-lawyer relationship. Criminal defendants go through many lawyers before they settle in liking one so the ability to attract and retain clients is essential.

Much like any other profession, a Criminal Lawyer takes years of experience and legal knowledge to establish an edge and ace success. One should have in-depth understanding of the state’s legal system like the Criminal Lawyers at Healthcare Fraud Group.

Job Outlook

As crime rates increase and criminal laws change, the number of people sentenced to prison has risen over the years. This correlates to increase in demand for Criminal Lawyers as well.

Work Environment and Schedule

Criminal Lawyers either work in private practice or in a solo firm. Whilst some work for non-profit agencies, some work for the government as public defenders. They often work long, irregular to full-time hours (over 40 hours each week) and frequently meet their clients outside their office at varied venues. Like other great-paying professions, they either maintain local practice or national practice which requires frequent travel. 

A criminal lawyer needs to know everything about the environment and region they operate in. this means being familiar with the criminal code in CA and knowing about how the legal processes play out in the state. Legal processes, laws and stipulations are not uniform and differ from state to state. A criminal lawyer needs to be familiar about the working of his local courts, have networks with judicial officers and understand different intricacies of the legal processes in their state.

How to Get the Job


The usual route for Criminal Lawyers is by starting off as a prosecutor or public defender. Public defenders are lawyers appointed by the court to represent defendants who don’t have the means to get a lawyer. Mock Trial and Moot Court Experience proves helpful in allowing the Lawyer gage actual trial experience in an academic simulated setting.


Criminal Lawyers attend legal industry events to establish networks at law firms and meet job partners or gain referrals.


Criminal Lawyers also look and check job-search resources like,, et for available positions. They also visit their law school’s career center for job opportunities.

Comparing Similar Jobs

People interested in a criminal lawyer career also consider career paths like being a Judge and in Hearing Offices, a Paralegal and Legal Assistant, Arbitrator, mediator and conciliator. 

Author Bio:

James S. Bell

James S. Bell

With over fifteen years of experience, James S. Bell P.C. has forged a name as a leading United States trial attorney. Most notably, Bell obtained the largest verdict in the United States in 2017 and the ninth (9th) largest verdict in United States history against JPMorgan Chase Bank for in excess of $6,000,000,000 (6 Billion Dollars).

Bell has become a recognized legal thought leader through projects such as co-authoring an article titled “Piercing the Corporate Veil” regarding property division in divorce and features in publications such as Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur and has been granted recognitions such as Best Personal Injury Attorney and Litigator of the Week.

Bell is in admission with the Bar in the States of Texas, California, and New York, and obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from Southern Methodist University. He continues to serve in a wide breadth of cases, including but not limited to healthcare disputes; Qui Tam litigation; white-collar criminal defense; catastrophic injury; ERISA; business fraud; bankruptcy; professional negligence/malpractice; oil & gas; complex securities disputes; divorce; child custody; and real estate fraud cases.

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