March 20, 2020 Last updated November 24th, 2020 924 Reads share

Everything You Need to Know About Being a Criminal Lawyer

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Do you want to be a criminal lawyer but you have little or no idea on where to start? No need to worry, I will tell you everything you need to know about it. First of all, being a criminal lawyer means that you’ll be representing defendants who’ve been caught in a criminal case. Continue reading for amazing information like this.

One thing you need to know is that with this information, you will be able to train or work at awesome law firms like Jones Whyte Law among other amazing firms. Anyway, here’s what you need to know.

Education

Before getting into any career field, one of the most important things is your papers and without them, well you’ll be stuck. Now, criminal law is no different, and you’ll have to go through a process.

This journey involves 3 possible routes to qualification, which will depend on where you’re at. The routes being:

  • The standard route – This is a route taken by majority and is als the best for one who is going to university for the first time. 
  • The accelerated route – This applies if you got a degree in another discipline, or have a degree in law which has been given in another jurisdiction.
  • The alternative to university – For reasons unknown, you might not be able to go back to university and that’s ok. What you could do is take a pre- PEAT training together with the Law society’s exams. The pre-PEAT acts as an alternative route to the LLB.

Here’s a summary of all the routes:

The Standard Route

It all starts with a four-year degree, in law(Bachelors in law/LLB). Note that an English LLB, or even the legal practice is not recognized in Scotland. Oh, and it’ll be harder for you to be a lawyer if you haven’t done a degree in law.

The Accelerated and Alternative Route

After that , you will then do the Diploma in professional legal practice(DPLP), which takes 26 weeks, which roughly is 5 months. Another equivalent to this will be the Professional Education and training stage 1(PEAT 1).

Don’t worry though, there’s still hope for you if you haven’t done a law degree in Scotland. How? Well, there’s an alternative route you can follow, it’s complex but I believe it’s worth a try. So this will either involve a 3-year training, before the DPLP or a series of exams. Give it a shot, will you?

Anyway, let’s go back to the original route. Once you complete the DPLP. you’ll finish off with a 2-year training or PEAT 2, which is done with a law firm.h

I would’ve said it’ll take you 5-7 years to complete this, but learning never stops and you’ll continue knowing new things each day.

The Legal System

If you’re wondering why there’s a need for one to follow all that protocol and why the separation of qualification is necessary, then I’ll tell you why.

It all dates back to history where the English and Scottish systems differ, both having their own foundations. For example, the Scots law has a foundation that’s based on Roman law hence Judges and lawyers will argue out using the first principles of Roman law. This is as a result of the special relationship Scotland has with France, which caused them to put the relationship into consideration while developing the legal system in the 11th century.

You should also know that the Scots law is a hybrid. This is because it contains elements that are found both in the Civil law and Common law. It recognizes only four sources of law, being:

  • Legal precedent.
  • Custom.
  • Legislation.
  • Specific academic writings. 

After reading this bit, you will realize that there’s a fine line that separates the English law to the Scots law, thus the reason for outlining the qualification specification.

Scottish Law Firms

Lastly, you also need to know about the Scottish law firms and how they relate to one another, or what differences they share if they have one that is. The importance of this is that it prepares you for what to expect in any of the law firms you get to.

Conclusion

When it comes to what you love, let the passion that resides inside you take charge and drive you to your desired destination. This way you’ll have a positive aspect throughout the journey.

 

female studying law -DepositPhotos

Rifat SF

Rifat SF

Read Full Bio