Criminal justice law means a lot of education. Attorney Richard Klineburger completed his undergraduate studies at Neumann University, he was awarded his Juris Doctorate from the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. Richard found useful aspects of his education were courses in public speaking and writing. Preparing yourself for arguing a case is key to a successful career in criminal justice law.
What sort of education is needed to secure a good job as a criminal justice attorney?
“It is important to seek out an ABA (American Bar Association) Approved Law School that has a strong trial advocacy program. I also believe that a strong liberal arts degree where you get the opportunity to speak in class and write as many papers as possible is key.”
What is the most challenging aspect of being a criminal justice attorney?
“The most difficult is representing someone who is innocent yet the government will not back down from prosecuting the case. It is easier when my clients know that they did something wrong because at that point, my goal is to get them the best sentence possible. When a client is not guilty, I feel the pressure of knowing that an innocent person could go to jail if I do not cover every possible defense.”
After graduation, how hard was it to transition to the actual working world?
“I was able to clerk for a judge after graduating from law school and before starting my practice. This allowed me to see the practice of law from ‘the other side’ of the bench. After my clerkship, the transition into the working world was hard because I had so many responsibilities.”
What are some advanced courses you would suggest that would be beneficial for this type of career?
“Anything that has to do with public speaking and writing. The more prepared you are to communicate well both in writing as well as orally, the better prepared you will be for litigation. As an undergraduate, I would encourage students to find any courses that force them to argue a position that they normally would not agree with.”
Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.