Law and Criminal Justice

Overview of Law and Criminal Justice

Professionals in Law and Criminal Justice (including law enforcement) focus on analyzing crime and criminal behavior and on investigating, arresting, preventing, adjudicating, and/or ensuring justice for victims and those individuals who are accused of or commit crimes.

 
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Detectives and Criminal Investigators

Detectives and criminal investigators conduct investigations related to suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.

Get details on the salary and job security of these Law and Criminal Justice careers: 

Get Career Ready for Law and Criminal Justice

Find out what it takes to land a career in Law and Criminal Justice

Career Readiness Equation
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Earn a Degree

Earn Degree

To work in the field of Law or Criminal Justice, it is recommended to have a strong background in conflict resolution, deductive reasoning, decision making, writing, and research. Majors, minors, and degree information can be found in the Mason Catalog.   

In addition to your degree, the following can increase your employment options in the field of Law and Criminal Justice. Here are a few: 

  • Establish or maintain a strong GPA (preferably 3.5+), particularly if you are interested in doing national security work for highly selective agencies (e.g., CIA, FBI) or going on to law school 
  • Prepare for the law school admissions process through the Patriot Pre-Law Program 
  • Join Mason's Clearance Ready program to learn about the background investigation and security clearance process 
  • Become a certified a Paralegal 
  • Become a credentialed victim advocate
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Gain Experiences

Gain Experiences

Employers are expecting candidates to have at least six to twelve months of related experience to be competitive for full-time positions. Gain experience while you are a student at Mason.

Here are the types of experiences most valued by Law and Criminal Justice employers, and where to find them: 

Leadership Experiences

Jobs/Internships

Job Shadow

  • Spend a shift observing the workday of a police officer. Contact local police departments to inquire about doing a ride-along. 
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Market Yourself

Market Yourself

It is important for you to be able to clearly communicate the knowledge, skills and experiences you have gained in and outside of the classroom. 

Below are top ways to showcase your qualifications to law and criminal justice employers: 

Resumes

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Career Ready

Career Ready

Career ready Mason grads have gone on to work for Law and Criminal Justice employers, such as:

ACTS (Action in the Community Through Service)
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
U.S. Patent and Trade Office
Covington & Burling LLP
Prince William County Police Department
U.S. Secret Service
Fairfax County Government
U.S. Department of Justice
Virginia Indigent Defense Commission
Fairfax County Police Department
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Wiley Rein, LLP
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Join the Law and Criminal Justice community

Get involved with academic and professional societies to grow your network while you're still a student.