Understood by many as a pre-law degree, the Bachelor’s in Legal Studies is pursued by many undergraduates as an exploratory degree for a future in the practice of law. However, the BLS can stand alone as powerful credential for individuals entering careers in many different professional fields. What jobs can one get with a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies? Specifically, what entry level law related jobs does a bachelor’s in legal studies provide a door into? These are questions that will be answered in this brief overview of the BLS degree.
A legal studies major provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to enter a variety of professions in the legal field, as well as pursue future graduate study in various disciplines. Bachelor’s in Legal Studies degree programs develop foundational knowledge of law and legal procedures, with students engaging in fundamental aspects of the field, including knowledge of various forms of law, court proceedings, trial preparation, legal research and writing, investigation, and more.
A bachelor’s in legal studies will not be sufficient for students planning to become lawyers; a doctoral law degree is required to practice in most U.S. states. However, the legal studies bachelor’s degree may serve as a good stepping-stone toward advanced law studies and can provide access to immediate employment. Undergraduates with this degree can find positions with law firms, law enforcement, the government and corporations. Common job titles for those who finish their legal studies education at the undergraduate level include paralegals and legal assistants, court clerks, court reporters, arbitrators, mediators, conciliators, and legal secretaries.
Careers in Law Firms
Several career options in private law firms are available to those who possess a bachelor’s degree in legal studies: paralegal, legal assistant and legal administrators are all available as entry level positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2012 median pay for paralegals and legal assistants was $50,220 per year. Although many employers prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree, law firms also hire paralegals with an associate’s degree.
Careers in Government
In some states a bachelor’s degree in legal studies can provide entry into government positions such as a magistrate judge, administrative law judge or hearing officer. Educational qualifications for these positions vary by state, with some states requiring a law degree. You must be elected or appointed to these positions, depending on the process used in your state. The 2012 annual median pay for administrative law judges, adjudicators and hearing officers was $89,970.
Careers with Corporations
You can also find corporate jobs associated with a legal studies degree, such as human resources assistant, customer service representative, analyst, and consultant. Teaching in paralegal and legal assistant programs or working as an assistant or advocate in a community non-profit corporation are also options. Pay varies by position. The average pay for a customer service representative in 2012 was $33,110; while the average pay for a human resources assistant was $38,340.
More positions are available to the graduate of a BLS program than are listed here. Ultimately, the BLS is a highly versatile degree for those exploring potential practice in law or those who are seeking entry level employment in a wide range of law related positions. See our ranking of Best Online Bachelor in Legal Studies programs for a list of affordable and high quality legal studies programs with the flexibility offered by online study.