Becoming a criminal lawyer in Los Angeles County is a lengthy process that requires four years of study under the supervision of a judge or state prosecutor. To get started, you'll need to find a local criminal defense attorney who frequently appears in court. At Baker McKenzie LLP, Arnold & Porter, Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, LLP, Irell & Manella, LLP, and Littler Mendelson P., you can find some of the most renowned California law firms that may need your help. These firms specialize in defending clients in all Los Angeles County and San Fernando Valley superior courts, including the Central Trial Court, the Metropolitan Court, the Clara Shortridge Foltz Court, the LAX Airport Court, the Compton Court, the West Hollywood Court, the Torrance Court, the Long Beach Court, the Santa Clarita Court, the Lancaster Court, the San Fernando Court, the Van Nuys Court, the Burbank Court, the Glendale Court, and the Court of Sylmar's children.
Part of the anatomy of a criminal case in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley is that if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you have the right to a jury trial in which twelve community members will be elected. Therefore, it is important to have a lawyer who is familiar with the judicial landscape in which your case is pending. If your firm is located in the city, they are probably better known in the Airport Court or courts of downtown Los Angeles and may not be as familiar with prosecutors and judges in the Valley. In my experience as an expert criminal defense attorney, having a winning attitude is one of the most effective ways to win a criminal case.
When your defense attorney is familiar with the structure of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office and how it works as a business, this can be a great advantage for defendants and often results in the best possible outcome on their criminal charges. If you're looking for ways to expedite becoming an attorney in California, there are several options available. The State Bar of California offers valuable resources to young lawyers in California as well as discounts for those just starting out. In general, it takes a minimum of seven to eight years to become an attorney in California including time spent earning your college degree.
The typical steps to become an attorney in California and how long each step takes are listed below:
- Undergraduate degree: 4 years
- Law school: 3 years
- Passing bar exam: 7-8 hours