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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Athens, GA. (from Jasper, GA)
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    2

    Question Good Law Firms For A Good Criminal Defender

    My question relates to legal practice in the state of: Any state in the U.S.

    I am currently in law school and have been told by many well known attorneys that i am a gifted criminal defender. I was wondering if there is anyone that can tell me the name and location of any particularly good firms that would be interested in a good criminal defender or a good website that would tell me. Any information would be greatly appreciated, i have not really looked into firms much because i have been slammed with combo of work and practices so have not really had much time to do so. Thanks in advance for the information anyone posts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Good Law Firms For A Good Criminal Defender

    If you really want to be a criminal defense lawyer, consider starting on the other side - spend a few years in a prosecutor's office. Or if you're intent on going at it from the defense side, try to get a job in a professional public defender's office. You should be able to get a lot of trial experience pretty quickly, and that can help you find a job or establish your own practice.

    Criminal defense practices tend to be smaller, and it's thus a lot harder to find job openings. Further, most small firms want somebody with enough experience to hit the ground running, as they don't have a lot of time or resources for training or supervision.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Athens, GA. (from Jasper, GA)
    Posts
    2

    Post Re: Good Law Firms For A Good Criminal Defender

    Ya, i am a bit lacking in actual experience, all iv done are simulated trials and a few debates but never a real case. Sounds a like good plan, thanks for the advice. By the way, if i were to become a prosecutor, how long would you suggest staying before i could either start a practice or get hired by a reputable firm? Anyway, your advice is appreciated, though i probably should have thought about that myself. I figured that if you were good, a firm would be willing to deal with you having to adjust for awhile.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    811

    Default Re: Good Law Firms For A Good Criminal Defender

    Don't get me wrong, UGA is a good school (and a pretty big mascot...go Dawgs), but being good in class and being good in court are two entirely different things. Most everyone has to start at the bottom and work their way up, proving themselves all along the way.

    Quote Quoting Almost Newly Minted Barrister
    I figured that if you were good, a firm would be willing to deal with you having to adjust for awhile.
    Adjusting in college means a B, right? Adjusting in college means trying something different as an argument, right? Adjusting in college means trying a different line on a different girl next party weekend, right?

    "Adjusting for a while" in a court of law means that your (potentailly) innocent clients will go to jail for a crime they did not commit. It means that you will have the DA win case after case because you have to adjust and learn case law that exists outside of the State Code (OCGA). Adjusting means that you will learn the harsh mistress of legislating from the bench (though this is very rare and usually comes after many years of practice and a very heavy handed judge that either wants to see a case won or lost) as will your client.

    If it were me (and at one time it once was going to be), I would look at interning under a defense attorney, interning or clerking with the DA or ADA, or interning or clerking with the public defender. It might not hurt to clerk with the court, but clerking with the court will not give you the focus you desire. Either way, be prepared to eat Ramen noodles, cans of tuna, and vitamins for a while. PDs, paid internships, and paid clerkships really don't pay that well. Most of the EFFECTIVE defense attorneys I know started in their mid 30's and early 40's after a successful career as a prosecutor, ADA, and/or public defender. Generally I have also seen their desire to have a nice house and a nice education for their children provide , erm, motiviation.

    Best Wishes!

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