The phrase “civil rights” is coined from the Latin words ius civis which mean “rights of citizens.”
In America, these civil rights are laid out in the Bill of Rights, and are statutory. Be that as it may, since the start of the civil rights movement in this country, Congress has reacted to it’s developments by instituting the civil rights acts. An example of this can be drawn back to the 1860 onwards, when the Congress approved and recognized many civil rights acts for the newly liberated African-American community.
The main objective of civil rights is to safeguard the people against any bigotry, injustice or harassment based on gender or gender identity, race, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, physical or mental disability, religion, age, or position as a representative of the military. Moreover, civil rights also protect singular privileges which include privacy, the freedoms of thought, speech and religion, the freedom of press, and the freedom of movement.
Types of Lawyers
There are different types of lawyers that you may need throughout your lifetime. When on the lookout for a lawyer to help you with a legal issue, you will notice that there are numerous different types of lawyers. Various lawyers specialize in various fields. Thus, it is important for you to know the different types of lawyers to see which one you should hire. The types of lawyers are:
- Civil Rights Lawyer
- Real Estate Lawyer
- Criminal Defense Lawyer
- Defamation Lawyer
- Business Lawyer
- Immigration Lawyer
- General Practice Lawyer
- Personal Injury Lawyer
- Civil Litigation Lawyer
- Criminal Lawyer
How to Become a Civil Rights Lawyer
In order to become a civil rights lawyer, it is essential for you to have an undergraduate degree. A degree in fields such as English, Statistics, Political Science or Philosophy are all great and preferred for you to have.
Once you have finished your undergraduate degree, you should enroll yourself in a law school. A typical law program will take up almost 3 years. This is a good enough time to know all about law and find out which field you want to specialize in.
If you think you are a lawyer after completing law school, then you couldn’t be more wrong. After you are done with law school, you have to clear a state bar exam. This exam has to be suited to the state where you want to practice law. Each state has a different requirement, so you must do a thorough research on what is applicable in your state.
Steps to Become a Civil Rights Attorney
There are certain steps that you must follow in order to become a civil rights lawyer. These steps are:
Get An Undergraduate Degree
Although a specific area of study is not needed to apply to law school, there is still one necessary requirement – you should definitely possess an undergraduate degree. Courses on public speaking, history, government and economics, can prove to be advantageous for students who want to qualify for law school. There are various bachelor’s degree programs aiming at human rights studies, the U.S. government and the body that awards civil rights to the people. A bachelor’s degree program in human rights or government studies can increase the knowledge and information that a would-be lawyer might have in their field.
Appear for The LSAT Exam
In order to get admitted in a law school, certain documentations and transcripts are essential, especially the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) scores. Students generally take this exam, when they are in their junior year of undergraduate study and it puts their reading, analytical and critical-thinking abilities to test.
Graduate from Law School
It usually takes around three years to complete a full-time Juris Doctoral program. The first year focuses on basic law subjects which cover topics on contracts, torts, property law, and constitutional law. The second and third year of studies, involves students finishing their elective courses, clinics, and internships. Some schools permit their students to focus on civil rights law, and the courses for this field cover cases like immigration, the death penalty, and American Indian law.
Pass The Bar Exam
In order to become a civil rights lawyer, attorneys in each state need to pass exams and receive an admission to the state’s bar association before they start to practice law. Each state has a different arrangement to carry out the exam. However, irrespective of the different format, the bar exam is mostly conducted over a span of two days. The first day is when the Multistate Bar Examination is conducted. This exam deals with topics such as constitutional and criminal law. The exam conducted on the second day mostly deals with state-supervised examinations.
Work as a Civil Rights Lawyer
Once you have successfully passed the bar exam and have been approved to a state’s bar association, you can practice in any area of law that you may like. The national government, prive law agencies, and nonprofit institutions often employ civil rights attorneys. After you have found a job, you can work as legal assistants for lawyers with a little more experience. It can usually take years of practice, experience and hard work for a lawyer to become partners with a firm. Moreover, as a lawyer, you can also decide to start your own practice and/or firm.
Think About Earning an Advanced Degree
Although lawyers do not need to study any more than the Juris Doctor degree, you can still receive an advanced degree in any field you like, including civil rights. Master of Laws (LLM) degrees in human rights or international human rights are also offered by various law schools. You can always go for an LLM degree if you want to get advanced knowledge. You can learn about things like human rights law, and war law in your LLM degree. An advanced degree will also help you achieve a lot of success as a lawyer. You can become partners in a law firm. In addition to this, you can even pursue a business degree and start your own law firm.
Job Description and Skills Needed
It is seen in most cases that civil rights lawyers choose this area because they are enthusiastic about fighting for justice for the oppressed. Thus, it is popular for them to practice their work regarding civil rights issues. As a civil rights lawyer, you may focus on LGBTQ+ rights, incapacity rights, human rights, and women’s rights. In addition to this, civil rights lawyers can also fight cases like security, freedom of speech, the eleventh amendment, sexual harassment and casting a ballot rights. Most civil rights attorneys hold positions in government or open assistance.
At the point when an individual’s privileges have been disregarded, the individual has the option to document a common suit against the person or foundation that caused the offense. A civil rights lawyer can advise one to clarify their customer’s privileges and the strategies for documenting a common suit. Then, the lawyer at that point might be employed to speak on behalf of the customer. A civil rights lawyer’s main responsibility is to demonstrate the encroachment on the person’s privileges did for sure happen in order to receive money related pay for his customer consequently.
A civil rights lawyer’s job includes:
- presenting cases in front of a jury
- inquiring about legal data
- settling legal disputes
- forming legal briefs
- finding out laws for people, businesses and organizations
- filing legal demands in the national and state court
Some civil rights cases draw attention to a lot of attention. Civil rights lawyers must have the ability to manage high end cases together with using the attention to educate the public matters regarding civil rights.
So, what are you waiting for now? Enroll in a law school and achieve your dreams.