What Degree Do You Need To Become A District Attorney?


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Natalie Harris answered
A District Attorney (DA) is a Government appointed official, who holds the highest position in an individual jurisdiction's legal department and acts to represent the Government in the prosecution of criminal offences. District Attorneys will not act in defence of a crime, only in prosecution.

Typically, they reside over a localised district, leaving the Attorney General to oversee state, national or federal crimes. Because of this, many people locally may hold a DA personally responsible if they consider justice has not been served and they frequently take on the role of politician in an attempt to keep everyone placated.

District Attorneys, as the name suggests is actually an attorney/lawyer who has qualified with a JD (Juris doctor) or LL.M (Master of Laws) degree and been admitted to the bar, passing a written examination in each state in which they wish to practice.

To qualify for the bar examination, the applicant must first have earned a college degree and graduate from a law school which has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) or appropriate state authority. The minimum required education usually takes seven years of full time study following High School graduation, consisting of four years of undergraduate study, at which a Bachelors degree must be earned to qualify for a further three years of study at law school.

Once qualified as an attorney, the easiest route to becoming a DA is to gain experience working as an Assistant District Attorney, within private practice, which can open up a network of professional connections that may help later on.

There is no automatic selection process for the position of District Attorney - an application should be submitted to the local election board (and obtained from the local jurisdiction's DA office).

Some jurisdictions allow citizens to elect their DA and, by having sound, ethical experience, demonstrates that they are a worthy candidate for the position. Joining political organisations can increase visibility, enhance reputation and can gain support of political peers, especially if elections are the mainstay of how District Attorneys are appointed.

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