Criminal Justice

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Shape Policy, Procedure, and Precedent With a Career in Law

Courtroom dramas are exciting to watch, but there are many other avenues someone could take to build a successful law career. Along with criminal law, a student could focus on the laws influencing intellectual property, nonprofits, corporations, and the constitution – just to name a few. Also, related jobs like paralegal and arbitrator, judge, and criminal justice professor fall under the legal career umbrella as well.

The question of what direction to take with a career in law is greatly influenced by how much education you want to pursue. For instance, legal secretaries and court clerks can find employment right out of high school, while paralegals and legal assistants require at least an associate’s degree. Mediators require at least a bachelor’s degree, while law professors obviously have a Ph.D. The traditional path to becoming a practicing lawyer is perhaps the easiest to outline though, and typically goes as follows:

  • Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: The minimum requirement for acceptance into law school is a bachelor’s degree. However, the American Bar Association does not recommend any one particular degree over the other, and notes that students from a wide variety of backgrounds are accepted into law schools each year. The most common undergraduate degrees held by students accepted into law school include philosophy, journalism, business, political science, economics, and English.
  • Pass the LSAT: The LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, is another requirement that all aspiring lawyers must meet. The exam includes five sections of multiple choice questions and a writing sample, which is unscored. The test is designed to measure a candidate’s skills in critical areas, such as reading comprehension, information management, argumentation, reasoning, critical thinking, and analysis. Test takers are given 35 minutes to complete each multiple-choice section and 30 minutes for the writing sample, for a total of three hours and 25 minutes.
  • Find Law Schools and Complete the Applications: Along with GPA, undergrad coursework, and LSAT scores, law schools will also consider other factors like community service, organizational affiliations, and recommendation letters. It’s not uncommon for students to take a year or two after earning a bachelor’s to gain some practical experience that will make them look more attractive to prospective schools. LSAT scores only stay valid for five years though, after which they need to be taken again.
  • Earn a Juris Doctor: The Juris Doctor, or JD, is the degree that is recognized for practicing law in the U.S. There are currently 205 ABA-accredited law schools in the country. Students can typically earn their JD in three years of full-time study.
  • Pass the Bar Exam: Once someone has graduated with their JD from an ABA-approved law school, they are allowed to take a state bar examination so they can practice law. The bar exam is usually a two-day process, with day one focusing on the Multistate Bar Examination and day two comprising written exams on various legal matters. Test scores are only one part of the licensure process though: bar examiners also consider a candidate’s education background, general competence and character, and the potential to represent others in legal matters.

Expected growth in law careers depends on the state; Tennessee, for instance, will see an increase in demand for legal professionals of 31 percent from 2012 to 2022, while Oregon only anticipates 15 percent growth. The average salary is well above the national average, but again this varies by state as well.

 

FIND COLLEGES FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE

10 schools found

American International College

Type: Private For-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:231 N Martingale Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60173

American InterContinental University (AIU) was founded in Europe in 1970 on the premise that universities should transcend the bounds of the traditional, theory-based approach to education by providing students with a curriculum that can help prepare them to pursue their professional interests in today's globalized, cutting-edge industries.

For more than 45 years, AIU has offered specialized, flexible degree programs. Today, it operates campuses in Atlanta and Houston as well as at AIU Online, which launched in 2001. In January 2001, Career Education Corporation (CEC) acquired the university.

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Bryan University

Type: Private For-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:350 West Washington Street, Tempe, AZ 85281

Bryan University is a leader in solving complex challenges in online education and engineering transformative experiences for students. We believe that online learning can be a desired and preferred educational experience. Through a series of research-based strategies and industry partnerships, we are revolutionizing the way students learn online. All of our innovative, problem-solving initiatives are student-outcomes oriented.

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Colorado Christian University Online

Type: Private Non-Profit

Institution Level: More than 4 years

Location:8787 W Alameda Ave, Lakewood, CO 80226

Colorado Christian University is dedicated to helping adults pursue their passion by earning a degree that integrates faith and learning. CCU overs over 70 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree program options 100% online.

Why Choose CCU Online?

1. Flexible schedule that fits your life.

2. Most classes are only 5 weeks long.

3. Transfer credits from another accredited school.

4. Learn vital skills from faculty with real-world experience.                                               

 

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Colorado Technical University

Type: Private For-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:4435 N Chestnut St, Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Since 1965 Colorado Technical University has been proud to educate career focused students to advance their education and help achieve their goals. CTU’s commitment to provide innovative, real-world education to students within Colorado, the military, across the U.S. and overseas has never wavered. 

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Keiser University

Type: Private Non-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:1500 NW 49th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

At Keiser University we are here to help you succeed by providing the professional and academic foundation to meet your educational goals and objectives. Keiser University continues to be a valuable partner to employers, the community, and, above all, a valued choice for students serious about their education and career.

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South University

Type: Public

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805

Education That Fits Your Life

At South University, we know that many people view getting a higher education as a milestone in life. To help more people reach this accomplishment, South University offers a supportive faculty, a diverse community, and options for learning that best support your lifestyle. Let us help you achieve a brighter future.

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: South University, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805. ©2022 South University. 

And SCHEV

South University, Richmond, and South University, Virginia Beach, are certified to operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to Title 23, Chapter 21.1, §23-276.4 of the Code of Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (James Monroe Building, 101 North 14th St; Richmond, VA 23219; 804-225-2600; www.schev.edu). 

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South University online programs

Type: Online

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805

Degrees for a Brighter Future

Training online just clicks. Earning a diploma or degree online is common nowadays. But quality training at a competitive price with help every step of the way (even after graduation)—that’s not common.

Start Earning Your Degree Online with South University Today.

Not all programs are available to residents of all U.S. states.
South University online programs, 709 Mall Blvd., Savannah, GA 31406.
2022 South University. All rights reserved.

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Southern New Hampshire University

Type: Private Non-Profit

Institution Level: Between 2 and 4 years

Location:2500 North River Rd Manchester NH 03106

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

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UEI College

Type: Private For-Profit

Institution Level: Less than 2 years

Location:661 W Redondo Beach Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

At UEI you can get career training and skills that will help you create a future you can be proud of. We believe that every student should have the opportunity to have a better future and will work with you to help make that happen. Our supportive faculty and staff are committed to helping you reaching your goals, even when challenges arise. From help with finding the right career path to finding the right employer after you graduate, UEI is committed to being your partner in success. Together, we can change your life.

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YTI Career Institute

Type: Private For-Profit

Institution Level: Less than 2 years

Location:3050 Hempland Rd, Lancaster, PA 17601

YTI Career Institute's industry-modeled curricula, qualified instructors direct from the field, and facilities that mirror the workplace are all designed to prepare graduates to begin careers in healthcare, skilled trades, computers, business, criminal justice or culinary arts.

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