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I plan on getting a degree in criminology....then Masters in this advisable in the aspect of becoming a criminal lawyer?

I am not yet in the university, but I have applied to study criminology here in Nigeria #lawyers

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Desiree’s Answer

Questions of legal education are very country specific. In the US, Law is a post-graduate degree, requiring both an undergraduate (Bachelor of [Art/Science/etc] - typically, 4 years) and law degree (Juris Doctor - typically, 3 years). So it takes at least 7 years of university study to be a US attorney (plus passing the Bar Exam, Ethics Exam and Character Interview). One does not generally need a Masters in Law if their entire legal education has been in the U.S. However, the US states often require those with foreign law degrees to take a 2-year Masters in Law ("LLM") course in US, in addition to passing the Bar Exam, Ethics Exam and Character Interview. In the US, I would not advise that a masters in Law is advisable, unless you were trying to become admitted to practice law in the US from another country.

That said, any early education with a focus on criminology is likely to help with certain aspects of studying law. Criminal Law is often a required course in law schools the world over and generally part of Bar exams or their equivalents. Most countries do not have a specific educational path for becoming a criminal lawyer versus any other sort of lawyer. However, outside the US, many countries do differentiate between being a barrister and a solicitor, so you might want to take that into account depending on where and how exactly you want to practice criminal law (e.g., behind the scene sor upfront litigating before a courtroom).

If criminology is a passion of yours, do follow it! So much can happen on the way to becoming a lawyer that may change your career path. You might change the practice of law you seek to focus on, you might find another career that interests you more than becoming a lawyer and change your mind about law school entirely! But it is important to select as your major a subject that is of interest to you, which will give you exposure to other careers, and in which you will perform well.

Desiree recommends the following next steps:

Research the education requirements in the country you are seeking your legal education to understand whether or not a masters degree is required
Research the requirements to practice law as a lawyer or (if applicable) barrister/soliticter in the country you hope to practice, to map the credentials you will need
Research the law school cirrculum to see just home many criminal law classes will be required and be able to assess how much of an advantage criminology will offer
Choose for your unviristy degree a subject of interest to you, and in which you will get good grades!!!