If you want to pursue a legal career, consider enrolling in a law degree program. General law degree programs provide students with rigorous training in the core coursework needed to succeed in their chosen career path. They also allow students to gain insight into the various fields within the legal sector, which can serve as a springboard to study related specializations further. This article examines the different job options you may pursue with a general law degree.
Paralegals study for a general law degree to help lawyers provide superior service to their clients. They take notes throughout sessions and present case record summaries at meetings. Paralegals file documents, write court briefs, and perform clerical duties. However, paralegals cannot offer clients legal advice or court representation. When required, paralegals also track witnesses for court cases and use their writing abilities to prepare depositions and testimonies.
Law Enforcement Officer
You can become a law enforcement officer by having a general law degree. Your work will be to investigate crimes and solve cases using investigative techniques. The law enforcement officers include FBI agents, police officers, and deputy sheriffs. Their jobs involve interviewing suspects, getting evidence, analyzing crime scenes, and gathering witness accounts. This career requires a working knowledge of local and state legislation and how the legal system works.
Business Law Attorney
A business law attorney helps companies establish legal frameworks for their businesses and advises them on how best to operate under these regulations. Most attorneys specialize in specific industries, including business contracts, intellectual property, contract negotiation, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, securities, taxation, and environmental law. Many attorneys work full-time in a criminal law office. However, some choose to practice privately or as solo practitioners representing only one client. Besides providing legal services, attorneys may offer advice on business strategy and operations.
A Legal Assistant
A legal assistant helps attorneys and other professionals with their work. While some people only consider becoming a lawyer after obtaining a general law degree, others choose to pursue a degree in legal studies. Students interested in law school may find a job as a legal assistant first. Besides answering phones, filing documents, and making copies, legal assistants help clients prepare legal documents and write briefs. Many legal assistants work at law firms handling paperwork and research related to specific cases. Others work directly for judges, corporations, or government agencies.
Court reporters record the proceedings of trials and hearings and then transcribe them into written records. The court reporter may serve as a stenographer or typist, depending on the type of court. Many law schools offer training programs such as a general law degree designed to prepare students for careers as court reporters. Since judges and lawyers often refer to legal terminology or precedents, understanding legal terms is fundamental.
To become a legal process server, you must have a general law degree. Process servers work for governments or courts and serve legal documents such as subpoenas and summons to parties involved in lawsuits. They must deliver these documents right after being issued by the court. Otherwise, the party receiving the document risks having to pay hefty fines. Most states have laws regarding the service that must be performed. Process servers should understand how the legal system works to deliver these documents properly.
Legal secretaries assist lawyers and paralegals with their research and administrative work. They keep track of deadlines, organize files, answer client questions, schedule appointments, and file documents. There are different legal secretary jobs, including administrative assistant, office manager, secretarial, administrative paralegal, attorney’s associate, and law clerk. In fact, many people who start as legal assistants eventually go back to college to get a general law degree.
Probation officers supervise probationers. They help reformed persons fulfill conditions set forth by the courts, ensuring compliance with parole restrictions and monitoring offenders’ activities and behavior upon release from jail. While degrees ranging from bachelor’s degrees are offered in criminal justice disciplines, getting a general law degree may not be necessary to become a probation officer. However, it gives someone an advantage over those with no degree.
Jury consultants advise and work with legal teams on picking jurors to help them determine a case. A jury consultant might sit in on witness testimonies, read transcripts of previous trials, review case laws, research statistics about similar cases, or look for inconsistencies in the prosecution’s proof if they believe the defendant is innocent. Jurors usually use their knowledge of human behavior or personal experiences to respond comprehensively during jury selection.
Law librarians work at law libraries, public libraries, and academic facilities. Their primary responsibility is locating and maintaining legal documents, statutes, court cases, government regulations, and court cases. They also help attorneys and practitioners find relevant legal texts and materials using online databases.
Social workers provide care to individuals who need help because of social or mental health concerns. They work for the government and other private organizations to do advocacy work with clients, negotiate contracts for service providers, and address social welfare problems faced by vulnerable populations. Before applying for a position as a social worker, it’s essential to have a general law degree.
Mediators or arbitrators act as third parties in legal disputes between two parties. They aim to find solutions that both parties agree upon. Mediation helps avoid a costly trial and is often faster than traditional litigation. Mediators may need to resolve business conflicts, family matters, divorce proceedings, custody battles, landlord and tenant disputes, intellectual property rights, contracts, fraud, consumer complaints, and worker’s compensation claims.
An effective compliance officer works with internal auditors and investigators to ensure businesses comply with company and state laws. An ideal candidate should have the legal understanding to handle audits with lawyers and accountants. They should be able to identify potential violations and suggest corrective actions toward compliance before they become significant problems.
Real Estate Agent
The real estate agent sells homes, houses, condominiums, flats, apartments, land, commercial property, and vacant lots based on price and location. They work directly with sellers, buyers, brokers, mortgage lenders, title insurance underwriters, and home inspectors to negotiate sales contracts and mortgages, arrange inspections, and manage transactions. Understanding legal issues is essential for a real estate agent because it involves a lot of legal paperwork.
Legislative assistants play a vital role in the legislative process. They assist lawmakers and their staff by providing research, analysis, policy advice, legislative drafting, and communications. Their work influences state and local government’s public policy, budgeting, and program evaluation. Legislative assistants also work closely with legislators and their staff, helping them prepare for committee meetings, supporting them during hearings and floor debates, and preparing written testimony. Most times, they act as liaisons between the legislature and outside groups. They may serve as point people for constituents with questions about the legislation.
Political Affairs Officer
Political affairs officer jobs are great for students who want to work outside the classroom and build relationships with people at different levels of government. They gain valuable experience working with the federal, state, and local governments in the ever-changing political climate. Depending on the political environment in which they operate, political affairs officers communicate with governments and advise them. Besides, they collect information through media observation and identification of new policies in their home countries.
A policy analyst works in the finance, education, healthcare, defense, and transportation sectors. Their job involves researching issues, analyzing data, and recommending solutions to help improve or develop new policies and laws. After their assessments, policy analysts suggest changing existing policies and programs for their employers.
A general law degree takes many years of studying law and related subjects. A lawyer can specialize in many legal fields, including civil rights, criminal defense, family law, constitutional law, property law, real estate law, bankruptcy law, labor law, employment law, administrative law, and contracts law. Lawyers often work for a firm or corporation where they represent clients before courts, government agencies, regulators, arbitrators, juries, and other entities.
Immigration lawyers help immigrants become legal residents by dealing with cases involving naturalization, citizenship, work visas, green cards, deportation, and asylum requests. Most immigration attorneys focus their practice on legally helping people immigrate. Many states require bar admission before they may engage in law practice, so some specialize in immigration law. In contrast, others specialize in criminal, personal injury, employment, or business law.
Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer represents clients suffering physical or psychological harm because of the negligence of another individual. Lawyers specializing in personal injury cases practice tort law and can handle public and private cases. Besides negligence cases, they handle defamation cases, bad faith actions, and employment contract disputes. Additionally, personal injury attorneys conduct client interviews, determine client needs, compile witness lists, and provide legal counsel. If there’s no agreement between disputing parties, the personal injury lawyer will make a representation in court.
Litigation attorneys focus on resolving client disputes in courtrooms. They draft legal documents and pleadings for clients in lawsuits involving property damage, employment discrimination, product liability, and construction defects. They prepare witness names, undertake depositions and perform witness interviews. They try to settle cases early on instead of going to trial, thus reducing costs for both sides. They also handle appeals if the matter goes to trial. To become a litigation lawyer, you must have excellent writing, debate, and communication skills.
Land Dispute Attorney
Land dispute attorneys represent landowners wronged by their neighbors. Landowners may hire a land dispute attorney if they feel someone else has trespassed on their property without permission. These cases are often complex and may involve interpreting local laws and ordinances. Land dispute attorneys may also help homeowners who want to develop their property. Attorneys will work to ensure that the owner’s plans conform to zoning regulations. Besides, they may assist with building permits, environmental reviews, and other issues related to real estate development.
Contract attorneys verify contracts and documents for accuracy and completeness. They ensure agreements are entirely accurate and meet company standards. If they find anything missing, incorrect, or unclear, they advise their clients about how to fix it. They also draft the document for approval and send it to both parties along with a copy. They keep track of any changes and update them if necessary. Besides, they review the final version for accuracy and completeness, check for conflicts, and prepare it for signature. Once everything is done, they notarize the signatures and file the original in case there are issues down the road.
Condemnation attorneys fight for public rights and eminent domain cases. Eminent domain occurs when government officials take private property to use it for general purposes. When governments need extra land for roadways, schools, parks, or drainage, they may take personal property using the power of eminent domain. Property owners may try to stop these projects and hire an attorney to help them fight the case. A condemnation attorney works directly with the government agencies, helping them acquire the land needed for their projects.
Social Security Lawyer
If you’re interested in helping people who need help get social security disability benefits or supplemental security income, then a general law degree could give you the skills you need to succeed. A social security lawyer helps disabled people pay rent and buy groceries while applying for these forms of help. Many lawyers start their careers in law firms doing administrative tasks such as reviewing claims and providing case management services.
If you want to pursue a legal career after graduating from college, it’s essential to prepare yourself for the legal requirements. A general law degree is an excellent choice for those who want to pursue legal roles, and it will give them valuable skills that many employers look for when hiring attorneys.