Legal Studies 3080

Lesson 3: A Career in Criminal Law?

The Job Profile

Are you possibly thinking about a career in criminal law? Legal Studies is, as you know, part of the Career and Technology Studies program - a program aimed at providing students with skills and knowledge in areas in which they may possibly be considering pursuing a career. Of course, you may be taking this course simply for interest, but if you are considering a career in some aspect of criminal law, this lesson may be of some help. 

As you work through this course, you will be encountering descriptions of a number of jobs and professions related to criminal law - lawyers, judges, police officers, justices of the peace, court reporters, probation officers, and so on.

Optional Activity

You may, for your own use or interest, create a list and add to it as you work through the course. This list may contain all the professions that you encounter. You can also add professions that occur to you but are not specifically mentioned - such as correctional offers, probation officers, and forensic scientists. Make notes about what sort of responsibilities and duties the professions listed involve.

As your list grows and you encounter jobs that you think you might like to learn more about, as career opportunities, you can do some research into them and see what you can discover. One of the best ways to organize research of this sort into a format that you might find useful in helping make career decision is the job profile.

The following is a list of the sections of a job profile:

  • Job Title: Indicate the name of the position.
  • Duties: Explain what this position actually does.
  • Working Conditions: Here you should discuss things like the kinds of hours that are required in the position;  whether the job involves working in an office, traveling, going to court, and so on; and any other important or unusual aspects of the job`s demands.
  • Skills and aptitudes: In this section outline what personal qualities a person should have for this position and what abilities he or she should possess to do the job well. For example, does the job require good communications skills? Physical stamina? A talent for working under pressure? An ability to work well with others?
  • Education: Here explain the minimum level of schooling a person filling the position must have. High school? College or university? If the latter, what certificate, diploma or degree is necessary?
  • Experience: In this part you should indicate, in general terms, the background and experience a person is normally expected to have to fill the position. For example, a judge must have spent many years working as a lawyer before becoming a judge.
  • Career Path: In this section point out at least one other job that you might move into from the one you're describing. This will be easier in some cases than in others, but do try to indicate a possible career path for someone in this position.
  • Salary Range: State the range of salary a person in this line of work could expect to receive.