"If there were no bad people there would be no good lawyers" — Charles Dickens
Welcome to the front lines of the legal profession. A Criminal Lawyer per se is a practitioner of Law with a preferred practice of Crimes and Punishments, representing the State on hand and defending the Accused on the other hand. Lawyers representing the State/ the Government are also known as Public Prosecutors, they serve as the voice of the State as a policing system and assist the Courts by carefully and articulately putting the facts and evidence on record for the Criminal act to be tried and punished. On the counterpart, a Defense Lawyer defends the client who has been accused of a crime and assists the Court in considering the plea for the innocence of the accused. It is a fast-paced practice area and therefore requires effective practical training before on can professionally pursue it individually. To become a Criminal lawyer it is very important to be able to work under pressure and be able to think on your feet. Criminal law involves a lot of research and evidence gathering, therefore being able to deal with information promptly will serve you well.
To pursue Criminal Law, you must have a relevant LLB (bachelor’s) degree in Law.
There is an ample number of job roles/ profiles available for Criminal Lawyers that one can opt based on their interest and skill set. Some of the job roles for Criminal lawyers are given in detail below:
Government Advocates are the advocates who are hired by the state or by the central government to represent them in court cases. To become a Government Advocate, recruitment exams are conducted by UPSC and State Level Public Commission. Government Advocates are selected on the basis of the same to represent the government. The states are just like the artificial person, so they also need someone to represent them in front of the court during any allegation against them
NOTE- Every Government Advocate is a Private Lawyer But Not Every Private Lawyer is a Government Advocate.
Government Pleader is an officer appointed by the State Government to perform all the functions imposed by the Code of Civil Procedure on the Government Pleader. The job role of the Government Pleader is to draft pleadings and pleads in the court of law on the behalf of the Government.
Public Prosecutor/ Additional Public Prosecutor
The main job role of the Public Prosecutor is to represent the case from the States-side (State Government) against the suspected criminal in a criminal case or in criminal prosecution. An additional Public Prosecutor is a part of the state’s judiciary and is in charge of litigation and all other procedures. To become a Public Prosecutor you will have to appear in the UPSC exam for the post of Public Prosecutor.
Criminal Law Practitioner
The job role of the Criminal Law Practitioner is to address key Criminal Law Issues in such a way that they are useful for lawyers, judiciary and students.
A lecturer who specialises in Criminal Law will be responsible for teaching undergraduate/ postgraduate courses in Criminal law and its practices. A Criminal Law lecturer will be responsible to undertake and develop high-quality research and scholarly publishing. Lawyers who have an advanced qualification, relevant experience and research in Criminal Law usually become lecturers in the respective specialisation.
There are a number of employment opportunities for Criminal Lawyers in different industries. Some of the top sectors that hire Criminal Lawyer are listed below:
There are no listed companies that recruit criminal lawyers. As most of them do private practice or either work with reputed and established Criminal Lawyers and their chambers. Some of the well-known Criminal Lawyers and their chambers in India are listed below:
A Criminal Lawyer usually starts his/ her career as an intern under an established Criminal Lawyer for which they are paid a stipend. A fresh graduate lawyer practicing under high court gets a salary of Rs.20,000 on average per month. While an experienced Criminal lawyer draws around RS. 2,00,000-3,00,000 on an average per month.
The salary of a Criminal Lawyer doing private practice will vary from client to client, and case to case.
Criminal Lawyers have a fair share of advantages. They can explore more options after establishing a career. They can also join the CID. A Criminal Lawyer gets paid a good amount of money. It is a satisfying and rewarding career as through it, you get to help people in Crises.
The average salary of a Criminal Lawyer in India is ?600,582. In the initial stages, an individual earns ?1,97,000 and it goes up till ?30,00,000 in senior stages.
Some popular companies hiring a criminal lawyer are Gopal Subramanium, Ram Jethmalani, K.T.S. Tulsi, Sushil Kumar, Shanti Bhushan, Majeed Memon, Ujwal Nikam, L. Nageswara Rao, Satish Mahashinde, Shrikant Shivade etc.
The criminal lawyers deal with the criminal cases which require a lot of investigation and research. The job becomes highly stressful, time-consuming and emotionally overwhelming. The individual does not work in a 9-5 job which makes the work hours irregular and lifestyle becomes unhealthy.
The major difference between the two is that a Criminal Lawyer handles the cases for defendants who are accused of committing a crime while a Civil Lawyer does not deal with the criminal cases. They handle lawsuits between individuals.
Some other job profiles than that of a Criminal Lawyer are Government Advocate, Government Pleader, Criminal Law Practitioner, Additional Public Prosecutor, Lecturer or a Standing Counsel.
A criminal lawyer needs to be Confident, Rational, Intellectual, Detail-Oriented and a Good Orator. Besides this, the person needs to have the Debating, Leadership, Multi-tasking, Persuasiveness, Observational Skills. Other traits that a Criminal Lawyer is required to have are Communication, Convincing, Research, Presenting and Sharp Decision-Making Skill.
In order to be a Criminal Lawyer, an aspirant must possess the right qualifications. The candidate must have qualified either integrated or 3 years LLB in the Criminal Law specialisation. The individual can also go for an LLM degree in order to get a complete understanding of the Criminal Law.
Yes, after completing an integrated LLB or 3 years long LLB, an individual can be a Criminal Lawyer.
A criminal lawyer is a law practitioner who prefers the practice of Crimes and Punishments. The lawyers defend the individuals who have been accused of committing a crime. They conduct analysis and research and present their findings in court in order to negotiate a plea bargain or settlement or gain the defendant's freedom.