A bachelor’s degree in legal studies opens students up to a variety of law-related careers. Typically considered to be a pre-law degree, a bachelor’s in legal studies prepares students with the information needed to enter into many different careers within the legal profession. While it is not enough education for a career as a lawyer, there are still many available job paths for graduates to consider. Salaries for these jobs are made available by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Jobs with Legal Studies Degrees
Court reporters, known as guardians of the record, are hugely important to courtroom proceedings. Court reporters are tasked with recording all of the live testimony given during a trial. Not only is a familiarity with law critical to this career, so is an understanding of stenography and shorthand. Throughout the litigation of a case, many people are speaking back and forth at a rapid pace. It’s the court reporter’s job to ensure that all that speech is accurately captured and put into the record without interrupting the flow of a trial. A good court reporter inputs this spoken testimony into the record seamlessly. The median salary of a court reporter is $60,130/year.
A compliance specialist uses their knowledge of laws and regulations to assist companies in pre-empting and potential legal issues they may face. Relying on extensive knowledge of the different regulations and regulatory bodies that may govern a given industry, compliance specialists provide their expert opinion to help ensure that a company is acting in a legally compliant way in its operations. This is a role that is essential to many businesses’ function, as it often protects these businesses from costly fines and potential litigation due to non-compliance with regulations. The median salary of a compliance specialist is $69,050/year.
Like the trial consultant, a jury consultant is often an expert in human behavior, specifically helping with the jury selection process. Jury selection is hugely important to the outcome of a legal case. Both sides of a case are allowed to provide input into the criteria that dictate which people are selected to be jurors on a case. Jury consultants use their knowledge of the law, the case at hand, and human behavior to help attorneys and legal teams select the jurors to help them win their case. The median salary of a jury consultant is $50,410/year.
As part of the alternative dispute resolution process, mediators work with two or more parties to help them reach an amicable conclusion while avoiding legal proceedings. A mediator is essentially a highly-skilled problem-solver brought in to resolve an issue. Mediators provide help to guide parties to an amicable outcome using their understanding of law and reason. A crucial point to note about mediators is that they do not decide outcomes like an arbitrator. A mediator works to help parties come to an agreement that the parties themselves have to ultimitely approve. Mediators make a median salary of $63,930/year.
Trial consultants work with attorneys and law offices to help with the presentation of their cases. While they don’t necessarily engage with the law that the case is based on, trial consultants work to help improve the rhetoric and clarity of the arguments being presented. Trial consultants also play a crucial role in helping attorneys to develop their jury strategy and jury selection. This job is great for those with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies. Another vital role that trial consultants play is the preparation of witnesses for trial. Trial consultants earn a median salary of $50,410/year.
Legal secretaries provide a specific function within the world of law. Critical to many law offices’ operations, a legal secretary is often the go-between for the law office and the courts. Legal secretaries are tasked with preparing and filing legal documents. These documents can be appeals, motions, or any other vital legal document. Legal secretaries are incredibly important in the world of law. A legal secretary earns a median salary of $51,740/year.
A paralegal is often considered the first step on the road to becoming a lawyer. Paralegals play an important role in the world of litigation. While other assistance jobs tend to focus on managing logistics, a paralegal engages more closely with a given case or trial’s legal underpinnings. Paralegals work closely with attorneys to assist them with building cases. Whether that’s performing legal research or assembling information depends on the needs of the attorney. The median salary of a paralegal is $51,740/year.
A relatively newer career in law, e-discovery professionals have grown more integral to modern law and litigation. As more correspondence and communication happens electronically, internet communications have become a much larger focus of legal investigations. Often, during the legal discovery portion of a trial, much electronic data will be requested. An e-discovery professional uses both their knowledge of the law and their knowledge of technology to search, gather, and provide this electronic data for use in a trial. The median pay for an e-discovery professional is $50,410/year.
Litigation Support Professionals
Like an e-discovery professional, litigation supports professionals assist attorneys when dealing with very complex cases. Large amounts of documentation and data back many modern legal cases. This information needs to be organized and easily accessible to the attorneys. Litigation support professionals not only help maintain this information, but they are also often called upon to do other miscellaneous work to support the case. A litigation support professional is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to assisting an attorney with complicated lawsuits. Litigation support professionals earn a median pay of $51,780/year.
Legal Nurse Consultant
A legal nurse consultant is a vital part of the litigation of medical-relates cases. Using a combination of expertise in both the law and medicine, a legal nurse consultant is often brought in to provide expert testimony regarding a particular case. Often, medical issues are not readily understood by juries or judges. A legal nurse consultant is brought in to interpret this medical jargon and provide their own professional opinion on the matter. Legal nurse consultants’ median pay is $73,300/year.
This concludes our ranking of the top jobs for those with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies 2021.