People who have a law degree are qualified to work in the profession, and the job you seek may be based on the caliber of your education. Numerous occupations in the industry vary in skill level, pay, and responsibility, from probationary officers to patent attorneys. It can be helpful to know more about the various law degrees and occupations if you’re thinking about entering the legal profession.
In this post, we describe the many law degrees you’re able to obtain, provide a list of potential legal occupations, and go over the procedures you can take to complete your legal education.
What can one do with a law degree?
The legal license you need to practice law is usually available to you if you obtain a law degree. The positions and licenses you can pursue depend on the degree you receive. There are various kinds of law degrees you can take into consideration depending on your job objectives, including:
Bachelor of Science in legal studies (BSLS)
Even if you can’t practice law without further schooling, a BSLS can nevertheless help you land a career in the legal sector. Your ultimate goal could be to pursue this career, or you may wish to use your degree to get a job in the area while you determine which program you want to go to next.
Master of Legal Studies (MLS)
An MLS is intended for those who do not wish to practice law but who want to work in the legal area in a more advanced role than a bachelor’s degree can offer. With the legal expertise, you’ll get from this degree, you could work in legal compliance, federal rules, or as a consultant. The Master of Science in Law (MSL) designation is another name for the same degree.
Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.)
One of the most prestigious degrees you may earn in the legal profession is a S.J.D. People who wish to do in-depth research on a legal topic or pursue a profession in legal academia are most likely to undertake it.
Juris Doctor (J.D.)
One of the most preferred options for those wishing to practice law is a Juris Doctor degree, which is a professional graduate-level degree in law. Most people who desire to earn a higher degree first get their Juris Doctor.
What positions are available for those with a law degree?
With a law degree, you can work in a variety of positions, depending on your level of education. For people who have an interest in a career in law, these are some options:
Using a BSLS
A BSLS can be used for the following positions:
1. A law enforcement official
National average yearly salary: $51,876
Primary responsibilities: A law enforcement official protects a neighborhood and its residents against crime. They may carry out this duty by patrolling particular public places, giving fines and warnings to offenders, and responding to 911 calls. Officers of the law may testify in court as experts or witnesses.
National average yearly salary: $63,355
Primary responsibilities: By adopting an impartial stance to reach an amicable agreement, a mediator helps two parties resolve conflict. A mediator accomplishes this by questioning each party to comprehend the details of the conflict and propose alternatives that might satisfy both sides.
3. Probationary officer
National average yearly salary: $48,679
Primary responsibilities: A probationary officer works directly with people on probation to track their development, ensure they don’t commit more offenses, and put them in touch with beneficial services and treatment programs.
4. Assistant legislator
National average yearly salary: $55,232
Primary responsibilities: Together with a legislator, a legislative assistant will create and edit any necessary changes, notes, or policy documents. They are also accountable for completing legal research and staying current on proposed legislation.
National average yearly salary: $51,260
Primary responsibilities: A paralegal is in charge of supporting an attorney with legal concerns, which includes writing correspondence, submitting required court paperwork, and doing legal research. Additionally, they keep in touch with the client by obtaining data, updating them on a case’s progress, and responding to any simple inquiries. Paralegals work alongside lawyers, assisting with legal research, drafting documents, organizing case files, and preparing for trials. They play a crucial role in the legal process and help ensure the efficient functioning of law firms and legal departments.
6. Legal Assistant
National average yearly salary: $50,940
Primary responsibilities: Legal assistants provide administrative support to lawyers and legal teams. They handle tasks such as maintaining legal files, scheduling appointments, drafting correspondence, and managing client communication. They help lawyers stay organized and focused on their casework.
7. Compliance Officer
National average yearly salary: $72,520
Primary responsibilities: Compliance officers ensure that organizations comply with applicable laws, regulations, and internal policies. They develop and implement compliance programs, conduct audits, and provide training to employees to prevent legal and ethical violations.
8. Court Clerk
National average yearly salary: $42,120
Primary responsibilities: Court clerks perform administrative duties within court systems. They maintain court records, schedule hearings, coordinate with attorneys and judges, and assist in the smooth operation of court proceedings.
9. Legal Researcher
National average yearly salary: $62,940
Primary responsibilities: Legal researchers specialize in conducting in-depth research on legal topics. They analyze statutes, regulations, and legal precedents to support lawyers and legal professionals in building strong cases, preparing legal briefs, and providing accurate legal advice.
10. Contract Administrator
National average yearly salary: $69,860
Primary responsibilities: Contract administrators handle the creation, review, and management of contracts and legal agreements. They ensure that contracts comply with legal requirements, negotiate terms, and maintain contract databases.
11. Title Examiner
National average yearly salary: $51,220
Primary responsibilities: Title examiners research and review property records to determine the ownership and validity of titles. They ensure that real estate transactions are legally sound and free of any liens or encumbrances that could affect the transfer of property.
12. Insurance Claims Adjuster
National average yearly salary: $67,680
Primary responsibilities: Insurance claims adjusters investigate and evaluate insurance claims to determine coverage, liability, and appropriate compensation. They negotiate settlements and work closely with policyholders, medical professionals, and legal representatives.
13. Arbitrator or Mediator
National average yearly salary: $63,930
Primary responsibilities: Arbitrators and mediators assist in resolving disputes outside of court. They facilitate negotiations between parties, help them reach mutually agreeable solutions, and draft settlement agreements. Their goal is to avoid litigation and promote amicable resolutions.
14. Legal Analyst
National average yearly salary: $71,620
Primary responsibilities: Legal analysts examine laws, regulations, and legal documents to provide insights and guidance. They analyze the potential impact of legal decisions, identify risks, and advise organizations on compliance strategies and legal implications.
15. Court Reporter
National average yearly salary: $60,130
Primary responsibilities: Court reporters create verbatim written transcripts of court proceedings. They use specialized equipment to record spoken words, gestures, and actions during trials, depositions, and other legal proceedings. Their accurate transcripts serve as official records of legal proceedings.
16. Legal Consultant
National average yearly salary: $77,380
Primary responsibilities: Legal consultants provide expert advice and guidance on legal matters to individuals or organizations. They offer specialized knowledge in areas such as contract law, intellectual property, employment law, or corporate governance, helping clients navigate complex legal issues.
17. Law Firm Administrator
National average yearly salary: $77,380
Primary responsibilities: Law firm administrators oversee the day-to-day operations of law firms. They handle financial management, human resources, marketing, client relations, and administrative functions, ensuring the smooth running of the firm and supporting the work of lawyers.
18. Victim Advocate
National average yearly salary: $40,090
Primary responsibilities: Victim advocates provide support, guidance, and resources to individuals who have experienced crime or trauma. They assist victims throughout the legal process, help them access services, and advocate for their rights within the criminal justice system.
19. Immigration Specialist
National average yearly salary: $58,860
Primary responsibilities: Immigration specialists assist individuals or organizations with immigration processes and legal matters. They navigate complex immigration laws and regulations, help prepare visa applications, and provide advice and guidance on immigration options and requirements.
Using a Master’s degree
With a master’s degree, you could work in some of the following legal roles:
1. Adjunct professor of law
National average yearly salary: $93,312
Primary responsibilities: Students at colleges and universities can take seminars and classes on legal matters from an adjunct law professor.
2. Policy expert
National average yearly salary: $77,242
Primary responsibilities: A policy analyst does policy and political trend research, create legislation, and uses their expertise to advise legislators and other government officials.
3. Compliance Manager
National average yearly salary: $95,260
Primary responsibilities: Oversees and ensures organizational compliance with laws, regulations, and industry standards.
4. Legal Analyst
National average yearly salary: $71,620
Primary responsibilities: Conducts legal research, analyzes statutes and regulations, and provides insights and recommendations to support decision-making.
5. Regulatory Affairs Specialist
National average yearly salary: $77,860
Primary responsibilities: Works with regulatory agencies to ensure compliance and manages regulatory submissions for organizations.
6. Contracts Manager
National average yearly salary: $87,380
Primary responsibilities: Manages the lifecycle of contracts, negotiates terms, and ensures compliance with legal requirements.
7. Risk Manager
National average yearly salary: $94,240
Primary responsibilities: Identifies and assesses potential risks to organizations, develops risk management strategies, and ensures compliance with legal and regulatory frameworks.
8. Intellectual Property Specialist
National average yearly salary: $87,160
Primary responsibilities: Handles intellectual property matters, such as trademark registration, patent applications, and copyright protection.
9. Legal Operations Manager
National average yearly salary: $113,720
Primary responsibilities: Oversees the operational aspects of legal departments, including budgeting, resource management, and process improvement.
10. Privacy Officer
National average yearly salary: $96,940
Primary responsibilities: Develop and implements privacy policies and procedures, ensuring compliance with data protection laws and regulations.
11. Government Affairs Specialist
National average yearly salary: $84,370
Primary responsibilities: Monitors and analyzes legislative and regulatory developments, advises organizations on government relations strategies, and advocates for policy changes.
12. Compliance Consultant
National average yearly salary: $83,610
Primary responsibilities: Provides consulting services to organizations, helping them develop and implement effective compliance programs.
13. Legal Project Manager
National average yearly salary: $87,340
Primary responsibilities: Manages legal projects, coordinates resources, and ensures project deliverables are completed on time and within budget.
14. Employment Law Specialist
National average yearly salary: $91,670
Primary responsibilities: Provide guidance on employment laws and regulations, drafts employment contracts, and assist with workplace investigations.
15. Corporate Governance Analyst
National average yearly salary: $83,390
Primary responsibilities: Assists with corporate governance matters, including board management, regulatory compliance, and shareholder communications. Average salary: per year.
16. Legal Consultant
National average yearly salary: $95,020
Primary responsibilities: Provide specialized legal advice and expertise to organizations or individuals on complex legal matters.
17. Legal Education Coordinator
National average yearly salary: $63,340
Primary responsibilities: Develop and delivers legal education programs, training materials, and workshops for professionals in various industries.
Using a Juris Doctor
With a law degree, you could work in some of the following positions:
1. An immigration attorney
National average yearly salary: 66,226
Primary responsibilities: Immigration lawyers closely interact with individuals who are coming to the country from another nation by assisting them in securing a green card and submitting a citizenship application. They are also quite aware of issues relating to immigration, such as the granting of work visas and the nation’s deportation regulations.
2. A litigator
National average yearly salary: $107,738
Primary responsibilities: In civil conflicts, a litigation lawyer represents clients in court. They are in charge of submitting court papers, getting ready for trial, and, if necessary, navigating the appeals process.
3. A contract lawyer
National average yearly salary: $93,437
Primary responsibilities: A contract lawyer collaborates on a contractual basis with several law firms. They might examine contracts, represent customers in urgent situations, and carry out other legal tasks as needed.
4. General Counsel
National average yearly salary: $132,666
Primary responsibilities: A general counsel is in charge of supervising a group of lawyers when it comes to legal issues. Depending on the domain of law, these legal issues may change.
5. Patent lawyer
National average yearly salary: $175,524
Primary responsibilities: When a client wants to patent an idea, a process, or another item, the patent attorney helps them. They support clients with their patent and trademark requests as well as any litigation requirements brought on by copyright problems.
6. Personal injury attorney
National average yearly salary: $76,298
Primary responsibilities: A personal injury attorney represents clients who have suffered injuries as a result of an accident or another incident that was caused by the carelessness of another individual or organization. Personal injury attorneys fight to obtain compensation for their client’s medical costs, emotional suffering, and lost wages.
7. Officer for political affairs
National average yearly salary: $100,091
Primary responsibilities: A political affairs officer keeps an eye on international political and legal issues and may act as a bridge between nations. They might develop strategies and establish policies to maintain open lines for dialogue between both governments.
8. Legal Counsel
National average yearly salary: $68,987
Primary responsibilities: A person who is admitted to practice law is known as an attorney-at-law, and they may be employed in a variety of positions. An attorney-at-law might specialize in estate planning or real estate, for instance. They are in charge of informing clients of their legal entitlements and acting as their advocates in court.
National average yearly salary: $83,002
Primary responsibilities: A judge rule over court sessions. As the designated party, they are in charge of reviewing the facts and making a decision that puts the legal matter to rest. For more significant disagreements, a judge may also serve as a court mediator.
10. Senior compliance officer
National average yearly salary: $88,802
Primary responsibilities: A senior compliance officer is in charge of ensuring that an organization operates by the rules and legislation that apply to its sector. They also ensure that all workers adhere to the hiring policies of the organization.
11. Corporate legal counsel
National average yearly salary: $144,788
Primary responsibilities: To ensure that a corporation is operating legally, a corporate counsel collaborates with both the employees of the business and management. Corporate attorneys may examine relevant laws and commercial agreements to do this. They might also research business alliances and participate actively in negotiations.
12. Employment and labor lawyer
National average yearly salary: $125,203 annually
Primary responsibilities: To ensure that employees’ rights are upheld, a labor and employment lawyer can collaborate closely with unionized staff. Additionally, they collaborate with workers as well as employers when a dispute arises.
How can I obtain a law degree?
These are some actions you can take if you want to pursue a law degree:
1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Before obtaining a law degree, you complete your undergraduate studies. Make sure the institution you choose for your education is accredited, look for one that provides a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies or a degree similar to it, and achieve high academic standing. To ensure you’re as employable as you can be after graduation, think about undertaking internships while collaborating with an adviser. Some people only require a BSLS to land the job they want. Think about taking the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) if you wish to move forward.
2. Pass the LSAT test
A standardized test called the LSAT is given to applicants to law schools. The minimal score needed to be accepted depends on the requirements of the law school. If you wish to apply to law schools, you must have a passing grade.
3. Be granted admission to law school
Get admitted into law school as soon as your LSAT results are available. This entails investigating and selecting the finest law school for you in light of elements including program accessibility and rankings, tuition costs, and ABA accreditation. Verify that you meet the entrance requirements before applying. Study for examinations and join networking groups to get ready for a job in law.
4. Pass the bar examination
You will have a law degree once you have completed law school, but to legally practice law and offer legal counsel, you will need to pass the bar test in your jurisdiction. The complexity of the bar exam can vary by jurisdiction and can be influenced by how complex the local legal system is. The bar exam’s objective is to determine if a candidate has the legal knowledge necessary to practice law.
In conclusion, a law degree is incredibly useful and offers numerous benefits. Beyond its traditional application in the legal profession, a law degree equips individuals with valuable skills such as critical thinking, analytical reasoning, research proficiency, and effective communication. These skills are highly transferable and sought after in various industries, including business, government, consulting, and advocacy.
A law degree provides a solid foundation for a range of career paths, enabling individuals to navigate complex issues, understand legal frameworks, and advocate for justice. Moreover, the prestige and credibility associated with a law degree often open doors to opportunities and advancement. Whether one chooses to practice law or pursue alternative careers, a law degree offers a versatile skill set that can positively impact professional growth and contribute to making a difference in society.
Frequently Asked Questions about law degree
- How useful is a law degree outside of the legal profession?
A law degree is highly useful outside of the legal profession. The skills developed during legal education, such as critical thinking, research, analysis, and effective communication, are highly transferable and sought after in various industries. Many law graduates pursue careers in business, consulting, government, policy-making, advocacy, and academia, where their legal knowledge and skills provide a unique advantage.
- What are the benefits of having a law degree even if I don’t plan to practice law?
Having a law degree brings several benefits, even if you don’t plan to practice law. It provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the legal system, which is valuable in making informed decisions, navigating legal complexities, and understanding legal implications in different contexts. Additionally, the prestige and credibility associated with a law degree can enhance career prospects, open doors to leadership roles, and provide a foundation for pursuing advanced degrees or entrepreneurship.
- How does a law degree enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills?
Legal education places a strong emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving. Law students learn to analyze complex legal issues, evaluate evidence, consider multiple perspectives, and construct persuasive arguments. This training hones their ability to identify key issues, assess facts, apply relevant laws, and propose logical solutions. These skills are valuable not only in legal practice but also in a wide range of professions that require sound judgment and strategic thinking.
- Can a law degree help me become a better communicator?
Absolutely. A law degree fosters excellent communication skills, both written and oral. Law students learn to write precise, concise, and persuasive legal documents, such as contracts, briefs, and opinions. They also engage in oral advocacy through moot court competitions and presentations. These experiences develop their ability to articulate complex ideas, negotiate effectively, and engage in persuasive communication, which is invaluable in various professional settings.
- How does a law degree contribute to personal and professional growth?
A law degree contributes significantly to personal and professional growth. It instills a strong work ethic, discipline, and attention to detail. The rigorous legal education challenges students to think critically, engage with diverse perspectives, and develop a broader understanding of societal issues. It also fosters problem-solving skills, ethical awareness, and an appreciation for justice and fairness. Moreover, the network and connections established during law school can lead to lifelong relationships and valuable professional opportunities.
These frequently asked questions and answers highlight the broad usefulness of a law degree beyond traditional legal practice. A law degree equips individuals with a versatile skill set, critical thinking abilities, and legal knowledge that can positively impact various industries and contribute to personal and professional success.