Is It Hard To Be A Criminal Lawyer In Melbourne?

crime suspects vector art

Law is a popular field in Australia and the job market can be very competitive with many students applying to study it. Many people, in particular, want to be a criminal lawyer in Melbourne, drawn in by the excitement of the career but people in the field acknowledge that whilst there are many benefits there are also a number of challenges to working in the justice field. Here’s what a potential criminal lawyer in Melbourne could expect to need to do to get into the field.


Undergraduate degree

Working as a criminal lawyer in Melbourne requires the completion of an undergraduate degree. In Australia, students can opt to complete an undergraduate degree known as an LLB to qualify to work as a lawyer but it’s also possible to do any bachelor’s degree and qualify to work in the field with a postgraduate degree. Many people who work as a criminal lawyer in Melbourne may choose to opt for an undergraduate degree in economics, politics, or other fields which can be very useful later on in their chosen field.


Postgraduate degree

Australian students who complete an undergraduate degree that not in the field of law will need to complete a postgraduate degree in law before they can qualify to work as a criminal lawyer in Melbourne. Students who want to work in a particular field should try to pick units that focus on that area. During the study, it’s a good idea to look around for summer internships and other opportunities to gain relevant experience and build up a network of professional contacts. After graduating, students will need to gain professional experience and apply for professional accreditation.


Become a solicitor/barrister

The next step along the journey to becoming a criminal lawyer in Melbourne is to work on qualifying to be a solicitor or barrister. Aspiring solicitors should undertake a practical course and sign on to gain experience at a relevant firm. This means looking for firms that focus on criminal law cases, those who want to become a barrister will need to pass the bar which can be difficult.


Gaining experience

criminal lawyer in Melbourne checking some files

The next step to gaining a foothold in the career is to get mentorship from an experienced solicitor in the field, this is the best way to move into relevant roles and start working on cases related to crimes. Getting into a firm that handles a lot of the kind of cases that you want to work on will help you to get the kind of experience you need. Patience is important though as many young solicitors find that they won’t get to work on the most exciting cases for at least their first year, many juniors are given less exciting tasks whilst they earn their stripes and learn how a real-world firm works. For those looking to get into the action more quickly, it’s a good idea to opt for a smaller firm. Smaller organisations are often better places for people to gain hands-on experience as there are fewer people in the organisation which means young solicitors are given much more opportunity to get their hands dirty and become a jack of all trades.


The career involves a lot of hard work and study, but it is well worth it for the rewarding and interesting work opportunities that await. People interested in the career should ask experienced legal professionals working in the field about it, this will give the most accurate overview of what to expect and what working in the field is like. Take the time to consider if it’s right for you.