Advice About Criminal Defense Lawyers


Criminal defense lawyers are also referred to as prosecutors, public defenders, or court-appointed attorneys.

Criminal defense lawyers possess a law degree from an American Bar Association accredited institution.


The main job of a criminal defense lawyer is to defend individuals and companies charged with criminal activity.

advice about criminal defense lawyers

in the United States of America

Anyone who wishes to become a criminal defense lawyer must undergo at least seven years of educational preparation. He or she must:

– Pursue a four-year undergraduate degree (USA) from an accredited university.

Law schools generally do not require applicants to pursue specific undergraduate courses. However, applicants’ Grade Point Average (GPA) is a key indicator of eligibility for pursuing studies in law.

– Attend three years of law school at an accredited institution (USA).

In order to enter Law School, applicants must pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). They also need to submit transcripts to the Law School directly from the undergraduate institution that they attended.

Other Law School admission requirements include letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

– Obtain the Juris Doctor degree also known as the J.D. Degree, or the American law degree on completion of the course of study in law.

– Pass the bar exam in the state in which they will practice law.

– Obtain a license to practice from the state (Find Law, 2021; Investopedia, 2021).

in the Caribbean

Students living in the Caribbean who wish to attend law school are expected to meet somewhat different requirements. This is because the educational systems vary from that of North America.

Norman Manley Law School is one of the premier law institutions in the Caribbean. It is located at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. These are the entry requirements to the undergraduate program:

Undergraduate Law Degree or LLB program for prospective criminal defense lawyers in the Caribbean

The University of the West Indies offers an undergraduate program in Law that is referred to as the LLB. Students can attend on a full-time and part-time basis.

Prospective candidates must possess a minimum of five (5) CXC subjects (from the Caribbean Examination Council).

Subjects should include two (2) 2-Unit CAPE subjects OR a First Degree with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 and above.

There are NO special subject requirements for entry. According to the University, entry competition is very high. As a result, applicants are required to possess very high-level grades in their college examinations. Applications are accepted between November 1 to January 31 each year. (UWI, Mona, 2021).

Norman Manley Law School offers the LLB in two parts

The LLB at the Norman Manley Law School is divided into Part I and Part 2. During Part 1, students are required to sit three foundation courses in the Faculty of Humanities & Education and the Faculty of Science and Technology. They must also write seven compulsory Level I law courses.

In part II, students are required to write ten Level II law courses. These are non-optional. The student may also select from over thirty Level III courses and seminars.

Norman Manley Law School also offers:

– Direct Entry for students into Year 2 of the LLB Program. This is a two-year program. It is only offered on a full-time basis.

Candidates qualify if they possess an undergraduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above.

– A Minor in Law.

The Minor in Law offered by the University of the West Indies is open to candidates pursuing other programs. It is possible that candidates may later contemplate a career in criminal defense.

– Investigate circumstances related to the crime.
– Undergo continuing education in the legal field.
– Negotiate plea negotiations, punishments, and settlements.
– Behave in an ethical and professional manner at all times.
– Negotiate with judges for reduced sentencing for clients.
– Represent clients at arraignments, hearings, and court trials.
– Work to have cases solved as quickly and favorably as possible.
– Prepare and draft legal documents, including legal briefs and appeals.
– Represent the client when dealing with police or other investigators.
– Present evidence negating potential charges issued by prosecutors.
– Devise effective strategies to defend the client/s in a court of law.
– Interpret laws for their clients in order to facilitate understanding of available legal options.
– Present evidence to a judge and/or jury if the client’s case goes to court.

Ciminal defense lawyer skills needed

Desirable skills for this profession include. Payscale, (2021) indicates that salary is affected by these skills:

– Criminal – salary is $82,771.
– Negotiation – salary is $78,364.
– Public speaking – salary is $77,624.
– Defense Systems – salary is $81,821.
– Litigation Case Management – salary is $56,892.

Ciminal defense lawyer salary USA

The salary of a criminal defense lawyer in the United States varies and ranges from $50,000.00 to $180,00.00 per annum.

There are salary variations, but the average salary is $80,904
/ year, according to PayScale, (2021):

criminal defense lawyer salary
(, 2021)

Entry-level Criminal Defense Lawyer

– earn an average total compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $61,369.
– has less than 1-year of experience.

Early career Criminal Defense Lawyer

– has 1 to 4 years of experience.
– earns an average total compensation of $74,353.

Mid-career Criminal Defense Lawyer

– has 5 to 9 years of experience.
– earns an average total compensation of $88,989.

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

– has 10 to 19 years of experience.
– earns an average total compensation of $103,297.

Late career Criminal Defense Lawyer

– has 20 years or more of experience.
– earns an average total compensation of $103,000.


The average salary for British criminal defense lawyers is £38,870/year:

– base Salary is £21k – £83k/year.
– Bonus ranges from £103 – £20k.
– Profit-Sharing ranges from £201 – £35k.
– Total Pay ranges from £22k – £99k.

Specialties, according to Legal Genus (2021)

Specialties in include

Drug Cases

Delivering and Trafficking
Drug-Related Civil Forfeiture Issues

Domestic Violence

Assaultive PPO’s

Motor Vehicle Cases

DWI-Drunk Driving
Misc. Traffic Offenses
Habitual Offender Status Suspended License

Major Crimes

Sexual Abuse
Armed Robbery
Car Jacking
Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases
including Date Rape and Allegations of Child

White collar crimes

Insurance Fraud
Public Corruption
Money Laundering
Credit Card Fraud
Mail and Wire Fraud
Federal Investigations
Stock Market Irregularities
RICO (Racketeering) Violation
Internet Pornography/Sex Crimes
Pension, & Workers’ Compensation Fraud
Real Estate and Investment Advisory Fraud

Other Crimes

Automobile Theft
Gambling Violations
Weapons-Firearms Cases
Soliciting & Accosting
Breach of Peace (Assault & Battery)

How much does a

The average cost is $8,000. Fees charged by criminal defense lawyers in the USA in 2020 ranged from $1,000 to $15,000 (Canterbury Law Group, 2021).

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