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How to Become a Lawyer with a Criminal Background

Training to become a lawyer demands a lot of commitment over several years. Legal jobs are highly contested, and you will need to be extremely motivated to succeed. Aspiring lawyers who have a criminal record will likely face an uphill task. However, achieving your dreams of becoming a lawyer is not impossible. Keep reading below to find out more:

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Can you Become a Lawyer with a Criminal Background?

Lots of people dream of a career in law, however, it’s an extremely competitive field to which admission is quite difficult. And for people who have a criminal record, it can be even tougher. Although you may have put your criminal past behind you and turned over a new leaf, you will still face an uphill task to get a degree and find a job. Even so, many people in the past have managed to become lawyers with a criminal conviction, be it for a felony or for drug abuse. This means that it is possible to become a lawyer with a criminal background.

If you want to become a lawyer, but you’ve been accused of or charged with a criminal offense, then you should consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer like Lauren Campoli. A criminal defense lawyer will help you to get the lightest possible sentence and mitigate the impact the charges have on your life in the future.

How to Become a Lawyer with a Criminal Background

Many people assume that they can simply avoid mentioning their past criminal convictions when applying for law school, but this isn’t a brilliant idea. All law schools in the U.S. run background checks on applicants before training begins. If your conviction shows up during this check, you will be banned from starting your course.

Instead of hiding your criminal convictions, you should be honest about them. Being honest with people shows them that you’ve taken responsibility for your actions and you’ve changed. However, it's important to remember that several other factors will also be taken into consideration:

  • The type of crime you committed and how serious it was
  • When you committed the crime
  • Whether you make a good impression during your interview
  • The laws of the state you are applying for

Some colleges will also ask you to supply them with character references from previous employers.

How to Get a Job as a Lawyer with a Criminal Conviction

Almost all job applications ask about previous criminal convictions, but many of them don’t allow you to explain. If you want to be able to find a job with a previous criminal conviction, then you should consider discussing your past in your cover letter. Talk about the circumstances and then focus on how you’ve changed your life. You should also talk about what you’ve learned from the past and what being accepted for the course or the job would mean to you. This will help you to find a job as a lawyer once you’re qualified.

Becoming a lawyer after a felony conviction can be challenging. However, it’s not impossible. A felony doesn’t automatically disqualify an individual from practicing law in the U.S., but people trying to make the transition from criminal to lawyer will face extra scrutiny. For example, they will have to undergo a more intense character and fitness evaluation than other trainees. If you want to become a lawyer, but you have a criminal background, then follow our advice above.