Criminal Prosecutors

Topics: Criminal law, Prosecutor, Jury Pages: 8 (2312 words) Published: May 15, 2014
Criminal Prosecutors
Criminal prosecutors serve the public by representing local, state or federal governments in criminal court cases. They participate in the investigation of criminal activity, present evidence in court and assist in determining the punishment or settlement defendants should receive. Prosecutors often work in state or district attorneys' offices. Depending on the size of the municipality a prosecutor serves, job duties can vary. In larger offices, prosecuting attorneys may be assigned to specific areas of the law, such as traffic violations or juvenile offenses. In smaller offices, they may be responsible for all aspects of criminal prosecution. Prosecuting attorneys begin a case by reviewing police reports and performing research. They may meet with witnesses or victims. They use their gathered information in court to present the case against the accused defendant. Prosecuting attorneys must follow cases through each stage of the judicial process and communicate with all involved parties. At times, this requires coordination with additional attorneys, the police and other professionals. Prosecuting attorneys, like all lawyers, need to obtain bachelor's degrees, complete law school and pass the bar exam. While there is no required undergraduate major, students may benefit from taking courses that improve their reading, writing and critical-thinking skills. Many pre-law students tend to earn degrees in political science, English or philosophy. Some pre-law students interested in becoming criminal attorneys, whether prosecutors or defendants, may also be interested in taking courses regarding criminal justice and law enforcement to help introduce the prospective of the different laws for the federal, state, and county departments of justice. Following undergraduate studies, prospective prosecutors must attend three years of law school to earn their Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees. Admission to law school is competitive and contingent on students' Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores. This test measures necessary qualities for law school by assessing reading comprehension, analytical and logical-reasoning skills, according to the Law School Admission Council (Admissions Dean) Law School is an extremely difficult to get into, with the highly selective process 3-year commitment for full-time students. During the first half of law school, students must gain core knowledge by learning about necessary components of the law, including contracts, torts and civil procedure. In the final half of law school, students study topics in specializations of their choosing, such as tax or corporate law. Besides the skills mentioned above, additional skills needed may include courtroom experience. Prosecuting attorneys must feel comfortable in courtrooms, so trial experience may be beneficial. They must also have an understanding of their communities' needs and the motivations driving law breakers. Successful prosecution can lead to an individual's loss of rights, and so a prosecuting attorney must use discretion, perform careful research and seek justice. This career also requires a sense of civic duty and fairness as well as strong analytical skills. A prosecuting attorney must remain at all times unprejudiced and unbiased to the person or persons responsible for a crime. A criminal prosecutor must also develop the ability to review and assimilate large volumes of complex information in an efficient and effective manner in order to draw inferences on behalf of the legal authorities. A criminal prosecutor must develop logical thinking, organization and problem-solving abilities with the purpose of structuring and evaluating valid arguments using inductive and deductive reasoning to draw inferences and reach conclusions. When he or she finally obtains a job as a prosecutor, they will likely have to commit to a few years of service in that position. After he has served the required amount of time, he can stay with this...

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