The criminal justice and security field can be very challenging, you can be faced with difficult situations every day. You can also be faced with problems that could impact millions of people and you are responsible for coming up with a solution. A good education is a must in any field you choose. Basil Beck, a criminal law attorney in the Philadelphia area, says you need to be comfortable dealing with criminals if you plan to work in criminal justice.

(Photo Courtesy of  Basil Beck)

(Photo Courtesy of Basil Beck)

What education is needed to secure a good job in the criminal law field?

“Most colleges and university offer majors in criminal justice. Secondary education would consist of going to law school where all first-year law students are required to study criminal law, as well as offered electives in one’s second and third years.”

What is the most challenging aspect of being in criminal law?

“If you are not comfortable or tolerant of the fact that you may be dealing with people who have committed crimes, you will have a difficult time in this field. It is necessary that an individual remains personally detached from the criminal acts they may be exposed to.”

After graduation, how hard was it to transition to the actual working world?

“I went to law school. After graduation, I took the bar and became an attorney. This was in the mid 90s when the job market for lawyers was just starting to get very tight. So I went out on my own and since then have been working for myself.”

What are some advanced courses that would be beneficial for this career?

“Short of going to law school, I would recommend attending graduate school where criminal justice programs are offered. Some of them may offer Ph.Ds or other advanced degrees.”

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at

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