Are you interested in finding out about jobs in legal studies? There are a number of different types of employment opportunities in the field of legal studies.
5 Jobs in Legal Studies
1. Paralegal/Legal Assistant
Paralegal and legal assistant jobs are among the the most popular job options in the field of legal studies. People who work as a paraegal or legal assistant typically work for a law firm or in a corporate legal offices, providing a variety of support services for staff attorneys and clients. Paralegals and legal assistants often draw up legal documents, conduct legal research, investigate legal matters, and perform other duties.
While there isn't a specific licensure requirement to work as a paralegal or legal assistant, the profession is highly competitive. To secure gainful employment in this field, it's generally necessarily to hold an Associate or Bachelor's degree in legal studies. Alternately, people who hold degrees in a different field often enter the field after completing a paralegal studies certificate program.
2. Probation/Parole Officer
Probation officers and parole officers work with individuals who have been convicted of committing crimes during the rehabilitation process. Probation officers work with people who are placed on probation rather than being sentenced to jail or prison. They supervise the actions of their clients to assure that the prescribed rehabilitation plan is followed. Parole officers work with inidividuals who have served time in jail for a period of time following release. Parole officers help their clients transition back into society after being incarcerated and ensure that their behavior is in compliance with the terms of their release.
Working as a parole or probation officer typically requires a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in legal studies, criminal justice, or a related field. For some jobs, a graduate degree in a related field is required. Certification may also be required for some jobs.
3. Court Reporters
Court reporters work in courtroom settings, creating real time transcripts of legal proceedings as they take place. They are tasked with the responsibility of making certain that there is a verbatim record of everything that takes place during a trial. Court reporters do this using a stenography machine, electronic recording device, or voice writing technology. Outside of the courtroom, court reporters often provide transcription services for depositions, arbitration hearings, and other legal situations where accurate transcripts are essential.
Court reporters are generally required to complete formal training programs in order to gain employment in the profession, although some people enter the field after learning to use the appropriate technology in a related on-the-job training situation. The type and amount of training necessary varies based on the type of court reporting technology an individual wants to work with, as well as local requirements. In some states, for example, people who want to work as court reporters must earn state licensure and/or national certification in order to work in the profession.
4. Court Clerk
Court clerks utilize a combination of knowledge about legal studies and clerical skills to perform administrative support tasks necessary for the smooth operation of court proceedings. They may be involved in preparing court schedules, drafting documents, responding to official correspondence, taking payments, and more. While there is no specific education requirement for this type of job, strong organizational and administrative skills are necessary. For example, court clerks need to know how to perform word processing, data entry, and general office administration tasks, as well as handle other clerical duties as required.
5. Private Investigators
Private investigators specialize in finding information on behalf of their clients. They are often hired by business, law firms, insurance agencies, and individuals. Depending on client needs, they may conduct research related to legal claims, investigate insurance fraud, process background screenings, provide protective services, and perform other investigative tasks. There is not a specific degree requirement to work as a private investigator, but there is a licensure requirement in most states.
Working in the Legal Profession
These are just a few of the many types of jobs available for people interested in pursuing a career in the legal field. Any of these jobs in legal studies, as well as other positions where you will have an opportunity to play a role in the legal system, can certainly be rewarding and enjoyable.