How To Become A Prosecutor

in Law
So you want to know how to become a prosecutor. If you choose this career you will have a long and challenging road ahead of you in order to even enter the profession, but the rewards of this job can be monumental. Prosecuting lawyers act on behalf of people, cities, states and countries to bring criminal cases to court and prosecute the defendants by impartially investigating their alleged crimes. You will need to be able to decide whether to initiate criminal proceedings and argue cases in the first place, and convince juries that your interpretations of the facts at hand are valid.

The first step to becoming a prosecutor is to get a bachelors degree. Lawyers often get their initial degrees in relevant fields such as criminal justice, but there are no requirements for any specific BA or BS degree. After completing your chosen bachelors degree you will need to attend an accredited law school and graduate with a law degree. Make sure to take plenty of prosecution-related courses such as Constitutional law, criminal law and criminal procedure, and try to get involved in activities such as legal clinics and mock trials.

Once you have a law degree you will need to join the Bar in order to become a lawyer. There are Bar exams in every state, which typically span two or three days and challenge the test takers reasoning and writing skills. This will require plenty of studying. After joining the Bar in your state you will need to get some legal experience to gain credibility before truly beginning your career as a prosecutor. This may include a judicial clerkship at a law firm or an assistantship with a government attorney. Then with a few years of experience under your belt you can apply for positions in a district attorney or attorney generals office.

New prosecutors may only make as much as $50,000, which is not much compared to what some lawyers make, but there is a great deal of room for advancement, and with experience you will surely make much more. The rewards of putting criminals behind bars are also priceless.
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This article was published on 2010/10/11