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Defending the right of the accused or fighting for the justice of wronged is an integral component of the criminal justice systems. A lawyer of a defence attorney bears this responsibility. In defending a defendant, the lawyer has to convince to the court beyond any contestation that the defendant did not do or intend to do the crime for which he /she is charged with (Johnstone, 2008). On the other hand, when representing the plentiful the lawyers must prove that the defendant committed a crime against the plentiful and must face justice. Layers or defence attorneys career is the most renowned career in the criminal justice field. Furthermore, it is the highest paying career in the field. According to Criminal Justice Schools Review (n.d) lawyers have the possibility of earning attractive salaries ranging from $55,000 to $100,000 yearly.
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Professional associations are also an important component of lawyers’ careers. There are several professional associations for lawyers in American. Three of the most notable associations are American Bar Association, American Judicature Society and Association of Trial Lawyers of American. American Judicature Society (AJS) was founded in 1913 as a non partisan and independent organisation. It also accepts membership from non-lawyer criminal justice personnel and other people from the public irrespective of their profession. Its mission is to “promote fair and impartial courts through research, publication, education and advocacy for judicial reform” (American Judicature Society, 2012). Its activities focus on access to justice, judicial ethic, criminal justice reform, jury system, and judicial reform. American Bar Association (ABA) was founded in 1878. It is a large organisation with over 400, 000 members and over 3,500 entities. The association mission is “To serve equally our members, our profession and the public by defending liberty and delivering justice as the national representative of the legal profession” (American Bar Association, 2012) ABA aims to achieve four main goals (American Bar Association, 2012):
Serve its Members
Improve the lawyer profession
Eliminate Bias and Enhance Diversity
Advance the Rule of Law
Association of Trial Lawyers of American was initially known as American Trial Lawyers Association before changing to the new name in 2006. The association is composes of lawyers from each of the American states. It is concerned with the educating lawyers and handling their professional needs (The American Trial Lawyers Association, 2010).
The attorneys ensure that law and due process are upheld. However, as they enforce the law, their activities are controlled by a code of conduct. Every state has a code of conduct that ensures that lawyers within its jurisdiction uphold integrity of the criminal justice system. In my state Maryland, the code of conduct is available online at Legal Information institute’s website. They stipulate the procedure and activities a defence lawyer can take part (Legal Information institute, n.d.).