How are criminal defense lawyers trained?

As much as they might like to pretend otherwise, lawyers aren’t born with an innate knowledge of the law or how to handle themselves in the courtroom. Rather, three years in law school and a range of practical experiences arm them with their know-how.

Many criminal defense lawyers interned with public defender, legal aid, or similar offices while in law school. Under the supervision of experienced attorneys, they were able handle tasks, both in and out of court, typically reserved for licensed lawyers. Some newly minted lawyers volunteer for public defender offices so that they can gain invaluable trial experience, while others work under the wing of private lawyers.

Make sure to ask about your prospective lawyer’s training and experience, even if that lawyer has been practicing for quite a while. Knowing about an attorney's background can help you decide whether to hire him or her.

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