How to Become a Prosecutor
Job Duties of a Prosecutor
Skills and Qualities of Prosecutors
Prosecutor Salaries
Influential Prosecutors
Leading Organizations for Prosecutors
Top Cities for Prosecutor Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Prosecutor

Prosecutors are charged with the responsibility of enforcing criminal laws and representing the victims of crime. Some of their tasks include organizing compensation for the victims, making them aware of court dates, and representing victims by acting as their advocate during trial and sentencing. Prosecutors receive training as lawyers, also referred to as attorneys. Prior to becoming a lawyer, one must undergo four years of undergraduate studies and a further three years of law school. This makes a total of seven years of full-time study. Only those who have acquired a bachelor's degree can attend law school. To be accepted into a law school an applicant must have displayed enough competence in the study of subjects mainly through the grades acquired in the undergraduate level. Other factors that are considered are the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), the merit of the undergraduate school attended, and any previous work experience and in some instances, an individual interview. The LSAT is a mandatory requirement for all applicants that are intent on joining American Bar Association approved law schools. Almost all law schools in the country have made it compulsory for applicants to send their certified transcripts to the Law School Data Assembly Service. This body then sends the applicant's LSAT grades and standardized college grade records to the law schools of their preference.

The first one and a half years of law school are spent learning core subjects including contracts, civil procedure, and legal writing. Thereafter the students specialize in fields including corporate law, tax law, etc. Some law schools offer students the opportunity to practice trials under the tutelage of already qualified persons. Attachments in legal firms or government agencies are crucial in disseminating valuable practical skills. In turn these training opportunities may lead to securing of jobs upon graduation. Graduates receive the juris doctor degree (J.D.).

Prosecutors are those categories of lawyers/advocates that are hired by the government at various levels. Some will work for state attorney generals, public defenders and prosecutors. Before being allowed to practice law in any court one must have been licensed or admitted to the bar. The bar examination requires that an applicant must have attained a college degree and graduated from a law school accredited by the ABA. Some bar examinations require that applicants write the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) or the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE).

What does a Prosecutor do?

Federal courts and departments determine their own qualifications for those wishing to practice law therein. Prosecutors working in the District Attorney's offices are assigned to various types of crimes depending on the size of the office. Large offices have the capacity to focus on particular crimes including homicides, appellate work or even sex crimes. Smaller offices mean that prosecutors may be required to work on multiple types of crime. By working in the DA's office, lawyers have the opportunity to pursue careers with significant trial and court exposure. State Attorney General Offices prosecute cases that impact entire states. They liaise with local DA's to handle these cases. Federal prosecutors are based at the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. and in the many US Attorney offices found around the country. Many of those who work as federal prosecutors are Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs). They prosecute a variety of crimes including drug related ones, organized and economic crimes, etc. Public defenders are found at state, federal and local levels. They are appointed by the court to represent those who cannot afford to hire the services of an attorney. Being a public defender gives much experience and practice since one is supposed to handle any case that is presented to them.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Prosecutor?

Prosecutors and attorneys at large need to understand that they hold positions that demand great self-respect at all times and a strict adherence to a set code of conduct. These persons should have the capacity to work with a wide variety of persons. They should be able to earn the esteem of fellow lawyers, clients and the general public. Attorneys should possess superior logical abilities, diligence and ingenuity. These attributes will be handy in the handling of intricate cases and inimitable legal predicaments.

How much do Prosecutors make?

The median annual earnings of all wage-and-salaried lawyers is $102,470. The middle half of the occupation earned between $69,910 and $145,600. The median annual earnings revealed that prosecutors employed in the Federal Government were the second most paid category of attorneys after those in the management of companies and enterprises. The former earned $119,240 while the later earned $128,610.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Some of the most renowned professionals in prosecution circles include Carol Elder Bruce. She has made a name for herself by representing both individuals and corporations in criminal and civil trials and appeals. She has also represented her clientele before the US senate and House of Representatives.

James J. Brosnahan is also one of the US's most famous trial lawyers. He has a long history in the successful handling of both civil and criminal trials.

Eliot Lauer is a seasoned federal and state appellate lawyer. He has excelled at representing clients in civil and criminal suits in state and federal courts.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

Some of the most prominent law firms that have excelled in this area include Bracewell & Giulliani LLP. This firm has a number of international offices and has more than 400 lawyers. Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is also a leading international law firm based in New York. It has over 240 lawyers in 14 offices worldwide.

What are the top cities for Prosecutor jobs?

It is expected that with the rising population numbers and the creation of more business activities countrywide, more attorneys and prosecutors will be needed to handle various legal issues. Legal services in various sectors are expected to experience a rise in demand e.g. in civil wrangles, health care, etc. Currently, the major demand for prosecutors is in Greeley, Atlanta, Bedminster, Carson City and Chicago.

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