Becoming a lawyer or a judge is not the only way to work in the legal field. These jobs may be the first areas that come to mind but they are just two of the numerous professional areas in which you can seek work after obtaining your legal degree.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are jobs in the legal field that are increasing faster than average. Jobs such as paralegals and legal assistants are expected to grow by fifteen percent between now and 2026. These are professional fields you can enter with just an Associate Degree.
Whether you get your legal degree in paralegal studies or the criminal justice field, you will study a wide range of coursework that can help prepare you for varied careers.
Below you will find more information on specific careers for those with a legal degree.
Working with Juveniles
If you have a desire to work with children and adolescents, you have several areas in which you can focus within the legal industry.
Youth Advocacy can allow you to work for positive changes on behalf of the youth in your community. You can do this through outreach, education and helping make policy changes. Youth advocates typically have a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
The main goal of a Youth Advocate is to act in the best interest of the youth in which you are working with to make sure their rights and needs are being met.
Also, with a legal degree in Criminal Justice, you can work directly with juveniles on probation or use your experience as a juvenile court counselor. But you don’t always need a bachelor’s degree to work with juveniles. You can work in juvenile correctional facilities with an Associates Degree.
You will also be prepared to serve as a case manager for youth in the legal system. Because of the rise in drug and alcohol issues in America, your criminal justice degree can prepare to work in treatment centers as well as in social services.
You may even choose to work with juvenile attorneys, or work with attorney in other areas.
Working with Attorneys
As a paralegal or legal assistant, you will be able to support attorneys and law firms in many ways. You may seek a job as a legal office receptionist, one of the most important jobs in the field. It is the legal office receptionist who is the first point of contact for the firm.
With an Associate degree, you will be prepared to perform all necessary legal job duties required to succeed in the profession.
If legal researching sounds more appealing, you will be prepared to perform those duties as well. Legal researchers work closely with lawyers, preparing for court cases. You will research former cases, verdicts, laws and any other information that can improve your attorney’s chances during trial.
Your legal degree prepares you to discuss cases using the right legal terminology. You will also know how to distinguish between legal documents your attorney uses.
Rather than working directly with attorneys in a firm, some graduates choose to work inside the court system.
Working with Court Systems
As a Court Clerk, you can have the chance to assist officers of the court, such as judges, other clerks and attorneys. You could seek a position in a county court, district court, all the way up to the Supreme Court. Duties may be to handle various legal documents, issue licenses or permits, and record court appearances.
Other ways to work in the court system is with a legal degree in Criminal Justice. You could become a bailiff assistant or a bail bonds assistant.
A bail bond is a legal contract between the court, the bail bond agent and a co-signer who is willing to put up a percentage of money for someone who has been arrested to be released from jail. As an assistant, you will take care of all the administrative tasks this process involves.
A bailiff assistant handles court schedules, docket records and respond to other requests by court officials, which can range from locating judges to assisting with DNA checkpoints.
If working in these specific areas of the legal system does not sound appealing, that’s okay. There are many other areas you can seek work. These can be working with the community, private agencies, public or governmental agencies.
Working with the Community
Social service agencies work with the community at large. If you are interested in serving the health of the community and the people in your community, this may be an area for you to investigate further. Social service agencies can be non-profit organizations, social workers, and even private agencies working toward the good of the community.
There are close to two million social service workers in America, and rising. Meaning, there is an increase in your chances of landing a job in this field, assisting professionals such as counselors, case managers, treatment centers and probation offices.
Aside from human services, jobs exist in other private and public agencies too.
Private and Public Agency Opportunities with a Legal Degree
Seeking a job in corporations, insurance companies, and government agencies on the local, state and federal levels may interest you.
With a criminal justice degree, whether associate’s or bachelor’s, you can search for jobs working at private security companies, colleges and universities, airports or even working security detail for an individual.
You will be educated in criminal behaviors, victimology and the law, you may want to put your skills to use in agencies that seek to rehabilitate criminals or work with domestic violence victims. From advocacy to apprehending violators, you have a broad range of jobs to consider.
As a paralegal, you can choose to work in large private law firms or become an entrepreneur and start your own paralegal consulting business. Your Associate degree prepares you for all job possibilities in these sectors.
A legal degree is not a guarantee of your dream job right away. However, it does teach you and better equip you to reach that goal.