Public Defender Career

Career Description:

Criminal offense cases of people who cannot afford a lawyer are taken in by a public defender.  The public defender, like any other lawyer, represents his client in order to give him the right of a fair trial.  One works with different types of clients and some are rather difficult.  Depending on one’s experience and ability, the public defender handles all small cases to more complex ones that are assigned to him. The public defender has various responsibilities.  This includes assessment or evaluation of the case, attending hearings or arraignments, bargaining a plea, coming up with defense strategies and preparing paper work for case trials.  The public defender also supervises the public defender program and educates the public regarding the role of a public defender in the community. The heart to serve underprivileged clients gives one the motivation to choose this type of career.

How to become a Public Defender

The aspiring public defender must earn a 4-year pre-law degree. Getting into law school requires one to successfully finish his degree and pass the LSAT or the Law School Admission Test.  Get into internship programs so that one may be able to have a hand-on experience of law practice.  Be sure to be exposed to the work of a public defender.  One must develop his research skills since a public defender are not privileged with a staff to the research.

Public Defender Courses, training, programs

A student taking up law is given a background in civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, legal method, civil rights, legal reasoning, legal writing, legal research, torts and real property.  A student is given a chance to apply legal theories in a practical setting through various activities such as internships, mock trials, and drafting of legal documents.

TOP 5 colleges/Universities

Yale University, Connecticut

Harvard University, Massachusetts

Stanford University, California

Columbia University, New York

University of Chicago, Chicago

Public Defender Jobs, opportunities, salaries/pay

The public defender is employed in government or public legal offices.  One has the opportunity to earn from $35,343 to $93,305 per year depending on one’s employer, location and experience.

Category: Legal Careers

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