How to Become Criminal Lawyer: Career, Courses, Jobs & Salary

Those who are passionate about solving criminal cases and representing people in court have the option of becoming Criminal Lawyer. These professionals are known as criminal defense lawyers or public defenders.

These lawyers deal with lawsuits like domestic abuse, sexual assault, drug charges, property crimes, fraud, money laundering, corruption, etc. If you want to become a criminal lawyer, you need the strength to work under pressure and must have the skills to analyze critically.

Moreover, these professionals need to be really fast in dealing with facts, conducting investigations, and collecting evidence.

In this post, we have explained everything you need to know about Criminal Lawyers in detail.

So let us get started!

Criminal Lawyer

Professionals who specialize in solving crimes and punishments are known as criminal lawyers. They represent the State and defend the accused on the other hand.

Professionals who represent the State/Government are called Public Prosecutors and are the voice of the State. They also assist the course and help them record all the facts and evidence.

Unlike public prosecutors, defense lawyers defend the accused and help them prove that they are innocent.

If you want to work as a criminal lawyer, you need to be able to work under pressure, conduct research, gather evidence, etc.

Criminal Lawyer Eligibility Criteria

Here are the complete eligibility criteria for becoming a criminal lawyer:

  • Have a relevant Bachelor’s degree in Law.
  • You must have cleared the 3 or 5 years of LLB degree from a recognized university.
  • You must have a prior work experience or internship with a Criminal Lawyer and gain expertise in Criminal trials and cases.

Responsibilities of Criminal Lawyer

  • Your main role is to investigate and evaluate the cases to assess the outcome and formulate the right plan to defend the clients in court.
  • They also help clients interpret laws and recognize legal choices to resolve cases effectively and efficiently.
  • You must also have the ability to write and file legal papers like legal briefs and appeals. Moreover, they also discuss plea bargains, settlements, and sentences.
  • Stay updated with the improvements and innovations in this profession.
  • Offer legal advice, counsel the clients, and represent them in court.

Types of Criminal Lawyer

Here in this section, we have given the various types of criminal lawyers:

  • Legal Advisor

They work with the government and other private sectors. While working as a legal advisor, you will be entitled to a lot of responsibilities, pressure, and excitement. The government, large companies, and other businesses that require legal advice and services hire these professionals.

  • Civil Lawyer

Those who are interested in legal rights can become civil lawyers. They mainly deal with properties and individuals and solve non-criminal cases involving people’s property and legal proceedings.

However, these professionals settle legal issues and conflicts on behalf of private companies.

  • Family Lawyer

They deal with domestic violence, child custody, divorce settlement, abuse & abuse cases, family partitions, and other family-related matters. Their main aim is to resolve all family-related problems legally.

  • Corporate Lawyer

These professionals ensure all the company’s financial activities are legal. The main aim of corporate lawyers is to counsel their clients and inform them about their basic rights, duties, and responsibilities of the company.

How to Become a Criminal Lawyer?

To become a criminal lawyer, you must have completed your 10+2. This section explains the steps to becoming a lawyer:

Step 1: Complete Class 10+2

To start a career in criminal law, students must have completed their class 12 with a minimum of 50% marks from a recognized board.

Step 2: Appear For Entrance Exams

Many universities and colleges conduct entrance exams to offer admissions to law courses. Candidates must appear in the entrance exam to get admission.

Some of the most famous Law entrance exams include CLAT, LSAT, DU LLB, PU BA LLB, and AP LAWCET.

Step 3: Pursue Your Bachelor’s Degree

After completing your 10+2 and appearing in the preferred law entrance exams, students must take admissions to bachelor’s law courses. Some of the Bachelor’s level programs are LLB, B.L.S. L.L.B, BA LLB, B.Com LLB, and BBA LLB.

Step 4: Pursue Postgraduate Law Courses

There are several options for candidates who have completed their Bachelor’s degree in law. Here are the two options that you can consider:

  • Option 1: After completing the Bachelor’s program, candidates can start working in entry-level jobs. After getting a few years of work experience, you can apply for the master’s degree program.
  • Option 2: After completing your Bachelor’s degree, candidates can opt for a Master’s degree without any gap. However, after completing your master’s degree, you can start as a lawyer.

Some of the most popular Postgraduate law degrees include:

  • L.L.M, L.L.M. (Master of Legislative Law) Constitutional Law
  • LLM in Criminal Law and Criminology
  • Master of Arts (M.A) in Criminal Justice
  • LLM in Criminal Law and Commercial Law
  • L.L.M. (Master of Legislative Law) Environmental Law
  • Master of Arts (M.A) in Criminology
  • L.L.M. (Master of Legislative Law) Jurisprudence
  • L.L.M. (Master of Legislative Law) Intellectual Property Law
  • L.L.M. (Master of Legislative Law) Criminal Law

Criminal Lawyer Job Roles

There are various job roles for a criminal lawyer that you can opt for based on your interest and skills. Some of the job roles are:

  • Government Advocate

The State/Central Government hires these professionals to represent their cases in court. Their salary varies from 3 LPA to 8 LPA. To become a government advocate, you need to appear for UPSC and State-level public commission exams.

Note: You need to know that not every private lawyer is a government lawyer. However, a government lawyer can also be a private lawyer.

  • Government Pleader

The Government pleader is responsible to draft pleading and pleading in court on behalf of the government. These professionals are appointed by the State Government. Moreover, they perform all the functions imposed by the Code of Civil Procedure on the Government pleader. These professionals can earn up to 21 LPA.

  • Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutor

The Public Prosecutors represent the case on behalf of the State Government. They fight the case against the suspected criminal.

On the other hand, an additional public prosecutor is a part of the state’s judiciary and is responsible for litigation and other procedures.

Note: To work as a public prosecutor, you must appear for the UPSC exam.

  • Criminal Law Practitioner

Criminal Law Practitioners address all the criminal law issues in a way that is useful for lawyers, the judiciary, and students.

  • Lecturer

These professionals specialize in Criminal law and teach UG and PG courses in Criminal law. These lecturers are responsible for doing extensive research and publishing their work.

Lawyers who have advanced qualifications, relevant experience, and research in Criminal Law can work as a lecturer in their respective specializations at reputed law universities.

Companies Recruiting Criminal Lawyers

No listed companies are recruiting professional lawyers. Most of them practice privately or work with reputed and established criminal lawyers and their chambers.

Here are some well-known Criminal Lawyers in India:

  • KTS Tulsi
  • Siddhartha Luthra
  • Salman Khurshid
  • Pinky Anand
  • Parag Tripathi
  • Kapil Sibal
  • Mukul Rohtagi


Those who want to start a career as Criminal Lawyers are known as criminal defense lawyers or public defenders. These lawyers deal with lawsuits like domestic abuse, sexual assault, drug charges, property crimes, fraud, money laundering, corruption, etc.

To become a criminal lawyer, you need a relevant Bachelor’s degree in Law. Moreover, there are various job roles for a criminal lawyer that you can opt for based on your interest and skills.

Here is everything you need to know about Criminal Lawyers in detail.

Good luck!

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