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Jobs in Law 2021
Most people’s perception of the legal field has been shaped by decades of melodramatic TV shows and movies. When the average man or woman on the street thinks of lawyers, they picture brilliant, well-spoken barristers battling it out in a tense courtroom to convince a jury of the defendant’s innocence or guilt. In their mind’s eye, every judge wears an over-the-top wig and knows exactly when to slam their gavill down for dramatic effect.
But if you’ve ever worked in the field, you know that law jobs are far more diverse than what you see in pop culture. For every high-flying barrister, there are dozens of legal professionals whose work behind the scenes is just as important as those eloquent, impassioned speeches in front of the jury.
As someone with legal experience, you know that the law isn’t just about high-profile murder cases or billion-dollar corporate takeovers. Indeed, the law finds its way into practically every aspect of our daily lives, from the moment your birth is registered to the execution of your will after you die. Because of this, there are jobs in law covering all kinds of varied and fascinating niches.
Buying a house or a car, getting married, applying for a loan, writing your will, claiming the inheritance from your long-lost uncle, starting a new job or quitting your old one – all of these activities potentially require the help of a legal professional. With the right skills, training, and attitude, you could be that professional.
Law School Graduate Career Options: What to Keep in Mind
Once you’ve gotten your degree, it’s time to start your on-the-job training. For law school graduates, some of the most popular career opportunities include paralegal jobs, pupillage, or a training contract.
Getting in touch with a law firm and applying for a training contract is a possibility you have as a graduate if you're looking to become a solicitor. Keep in mind that there are very few contracts on offer and thousands of applicants battling it out for these contracts every year. As a result, the competition is fierce and often proves exceedingly tricky for many.
To tip the scales in your favor when it comes to such law firm jobs, you need to become the most reliable possible candidate. In other words, a strong academic record combined with a plethora of work experience should prove very helpful. If you haven’t yet had any paid jobs in the field, volunteering can be a great way to strengthen your CV and give you an edge over your competitors.
Winning a training contract will mean two years of hard work that’ll be more than worth it. The law firm that employs you will give you opportunities to perform a range of interesting legal assistant jobs that will teach you how the industry works. To make your learning experience comprehensive and thorough, you'll also have the chance to rotate around various departments and gain a better understanding of the different responsibilities involved.
Following two years of this learning regimen, you’ll be able to qualify as an NQ. This qualification will allow you to choose your area of practice. Eventually, you'll be able to work your way up to an associate in a firm, and maybe even a partner.
Another popular and rewarding example of law jobs is working as a barrister. Similarly to a training contract, starting off as a barrister means you'll need secure pupillage for a firm of your choice. Succeeding in getting pupillage also requires talent, immense dedication, and an impressive CV.
While it’s true that some chambers require direct applications, you can also use the Pupillage Gateway to apply with several different chambers. Typically, it’ll take you about a year to go through the legal pupillage positions, which consist of two halves. Shadowing a barrister during their time at the chambers will be your sole occupation for the first six months. The latter half will enable you to begin practicing as a barrister.
Essential Qualities for a Legal Career
While incredibly exciting, well-respected, dynamic, and lucrative, a career in law also requires certain character traits if you want to practice the craft well. When it comes to law degree jobs, there are some very important individual skills one needs to possess to build and develop a successful legal career.
Some of these include writing, time management, systems evaluation, systems analysis, speaking, social perceptiveness, service orientation, reading comprehension, persuasion, negotiation, and monitoring.
However, learning strategies, judgment and decision making, teaching, critical thinking, coordination, complex problem solving, active listening, and active learning are also helpful.
Aside from the previously mentioned interpersonal and academic skills, there are a few more that are not as obvious and widely recognized, though equally important for various legal jobs.
Logical thinking, for example, is vital for lawyers in particular as their craft directly involves applying facts to the law. Observing a situation and ascertaining whether the rule is applicable, or if any exceptions apply to the rule is a must for attorneys. Finding fault in the arguments of the other side is also a requirement deriving from one's logic skills.
If you've ever seen or taken the Law School Admission Test, you've probably wondered why there were so many logic games in it. The reason is that lawyer jobs rely heavily on using logic to create not only sensible arguments but also evaluate other's arguments and then find (build) reasoning.
Verbal & Written Communication
Verbal and written communication is incredibly important, as understanding and then analyzing immense amounts of information is part of any career in law. Facing such a large quantity of data and information, one must be able to quickly go through it and discern what is pertinent to their particular case.
Nearly all types of law jobs involve communicating information in written form. Some legal careers lean primarily on writing, while other specialties focus more on speechmaking and verbal communication. Regardless, effective speaking, writing, and reading are core conditions for all law-related activities.
When it comes to attorneys in private practice, business management emerges as yet another core skill that they can benefit from significantly. The reason why business management is so important is that for private practice attorneys to practice law, they essentially need to run their own firm or company. Private attorney jobs involve not only signing clients (closing), but also billing and payment processing.
As is true for most legal careers, attorneys included, receiving both bad and good news occurs almost daily. Therefore, patience is among the essential character traits to have, especially since negotiating with opposing counsel needs to take place tactfully and without panicking.
The wheels of justice tend to be very slow at times, which is why weathering such ups and downs requires a great deal of patience. As far as jobs with a law degree go, we’d go so far as to say that patience is among the top three skills that are essential, in addition to critical thinking and complex problem solving.
Listening & Comprehension
Communication is a two-way street, and this is especially true in law. Being able to listen carefully and comprehend what the other side is trying to say is an essential skill for productive work as a legal professional. You also need to communicate effectively with your own clients, who will almost certainly be overwhelmed by the complexity of the law.
Across a multitude of jobs in the law field, understanding the specifics of each situation is crucial for an effective outcome. Legal work of any kind involves the ability to pick up on the tiniest of details, as cases often depend on them.
Furthermore, understanding what's being said is a skill lawyers in particular benefit from, especially since it's crucial for both adequate examination and cross-examination of witnesses. Making an accurate record of what a judge says is vital when the judge first gives a verbal opinion and then directs the parties to convey it in writing.
As far as jobs in the law field go, being an effective advocate for one's client is impossible without focused listening, even though attorneys are typically called to speak, not write.
Lastly, being able to use technology is as much a result of the ever-evolving legal practice as it is the world we live in today. Working with various types of software systems is a requirement irrespective of a person’s specific legal job. It doesn’t matter if they’re a judge, or whether they’re working for a government agency or in private practice.
Different positions in law all require a certain level of computer literacy. Billing clients and managing files is nowadays the duty of case management systems for the most part and in the vast majority of law firms. Even basic document preparation involves using various software systems and typing quickly and accurately. Legal personnel can access software for legal research thanks to several paid and free services.
Advancement Options in a Legal Career: Making it as a Fully-Fledged Partner
The typical career path for a vast number of lawyers who finish their graduate studies is to search for employment with a law firm. Entry-level law jobs usually carry the title of associate and involve working with other lawyers with more experience.
It’s not uncommon for many lawyers to be made partners in their respective law firms after working for some years. In addition to offering more responsibilities and partial ownership over the law firm, the partner position also involves more significant liabilities.
Becoming a partner in a law firm isn't the final step, however; one can go even further and become an executive or sometimes also a managing partner. At the same time, moving up to the latter depends on many different factors, most notably the amount of time you spend with the firm.
There are dozens of types of law jobs, though greater responsibilities and roles can become available depending on the area of specialization of a particular attorney. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many job openings in law nowadays. But at the same time, more and more students continue to graduate from law school every year, meaning that competition for work is truly cutthroat.
It’s not unheard of for partners to be forced from a firm when they're unable to maintain their position. Most commonly in this case, partners are "encouraged" to leave because their contributions to the profitability of the firm are inadequate or nonexistent.
Being a partner at a law firm is among the highest-paying law jobs out there today, which says a lot given the fierce competition for various legal positions at prestigious firms. The top-paying nature of the industry means that most firms limit their selection pools to graduates from specific schools or those who have experience in certain prestigious jobs.
At the same time, there are many other alternative law careers available for those who don't succeed or aren’t interested in becoming a law firm associate.
Alternative Careers for Law Graduates
Jobs after law school don’t always revolve around law firms and trying to become an associate, and continuing one’s education can be an equally good investment in one’s future. Going after masters or even a doctorate in more specific areas of one's specialization is another alternative.
In other words, academic legal careers can be every bit as fulfilling and dynamic as those in day-to-day practice. If you play your cards right, you might be able to get a full-time position as a law school faculty member. Additionally, various other teaching and administrative positions are also available for well-educated professionals with a penchant for a specific area of law, academic or otherwise.
If law professor jobs aren't particularly appealing to you, there's always the possibility of an internship. If you’re looking for the opportunity to gain real experience and happen to be a freshly graduated law student, an internship could be ideal. You get the opportunity to work with many professional legal workers, including judges, to hone your craft and see how the theory applies in real life.
Of course, corporations are always on the lookout for talented lawyers. Be it legal support or working as part of a team of in-house lawyers, corporate law jobs are relatively common and typically well-paid. Big corporations need to keep their operations running smoothly, and even though this isn’t usually a law graduate’s first-choice career path, it can be a very rewarding one.
In other words, there are many alternative careers for legal workers outside of the most typical occupations in the sector. Alternative careers may include working in insurance, politics, journalism, working as a legal recruiter, a freelance attorney, a real estate broker, an NPO/NGO lawyer, a government lawyer, a paralegal, as in-house counsel for companies, and various other law-related jobs.
At present, there are nearly 800,000 lawyers in the United States, all of whom practice law across a range of careers and employment opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor, 48% of lawyers work in legal services (ie. law firms).
Second place on the list with a 20% share belongs to self-employed lawyers. Almost 7% of lawyers work in local government, excluding hospitals and education, and another 6% work in state government, excluding hospitals and education. Approximately 5% of lawyers are working for the federal government in jobs with a law degree.
Making it on Your Own
As we’ve mentioned, becoming a partner in a professional law firm is the typical path of a lawyer after a certain number of years. However, this is not the only path, as a significant percentage of legal workers opt against becoming a partner.
Instead, many of these professionals choose to form their own law firm, as the statistics above demonstrate (20% of lawyers in the US today are self-employed). To succeed in this career, one must establish a strong business strategy and marketing plan.
While new law jobs may be hard to come by these days, setting up a firm of your own requires presenting your legal services as a business. At the same time, surviving against other long-lasting and self-established law firms is a challenge in itself.
Another issue that often arises when becoming a self-employed legal worker is having to deal with the heavy burden of multitasking without help. Juggling setting up your business with red tape, attracting new clients, putting together a marketing strategy, and practicing law itself can be overwhelming.
Posting law assistant jobs may prove helpful in this situation, as can hiring a secretary, provided your financial resources allow it.
At the same time, there are various software products available today to make matters such as invoicing, accounting, and other daily operations more manageable for self-starter legal workers.
Surviving one's first year as a self-employed lawyer is by far the most significant challenge because of the time component and the difference between expenses and income. Additional ways to make it through the first 12 months (until you're able to establish yourself and build a reputation) include online legal jobs. In other words, creating a website or starting a blog, using paid advertisements and the like.
Growth and Employment Rate
In the period between 2014 and 2024, employment rates for lawyers were projected to grow by 6%, according to MyFuture. At the same time, a similar report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that, between 2018 and 2028, employment in the legal profession will grow by more than 12%.
There is an apparent disparity between the two periods when it comes to employment law jobs. The main reason the growth rate is accelerating is that legal assistants are today performing more and more duties that were previously performed only by lawyers.
The growth itself exists in anticipation of the growth of other occupations across the United States. As a result of this growth of other professions, the demand for legal services will increase significantly. To support this growth and new demands, businesses, individuals, and different levels of government across the nation will need a more substantial amount of legal assistance than before, causing an increase in law recruitment jobs.
Simultaneously, the cost of legal services across occupations is also likely to increase as a result of the increased demand. Law firms may respond to this increase in several different ways. Reevaluating staffing requirements is among the likelier ones, which may include a more cost-effective solution such as law management software. Remaining competitive while reducing costs could also result in using low-cost agencies to outsource staffing.
Another potential solution involves automating routine work even further by using various softwaret programs dedicated to legal professionals. All of those above, however, would likely lead to a decrease in lawyer job openings.
How to Find a Job in this Department
A law degree nowadays represents an enormous asset. Despite automation slowly taking over the more menial tasks on a day-to-day basis, no machine will ever be able to replace a brilliant legal mind. As a result, you can choose between a plethora of legal jobs and careers.
Some examples include judges, barristers, solicitors, typists, legal secretaries, paralegals, human resources personnel, legal executives, lecturers, coroners, solicitor advocates, court clerks, and even law enforcement jobs.
Because it can be lucrative, complex, ever-changing, fluid, and stimulating, the law represents a wildly popular career sector. Law comes with an enormous number of options regardless of whether you finished school at 16 or you graduated from an Ivy League university. Here are some legal jobs in more detail.
While the job description of a judge may not seem as appealing as that of a litigator, one requires immense knowledge and legal experience to perform the duties of a judge.
Performing part-time law jobs is not nearly enough for someone hoping to wear the robe in the future. When cases are brought before the court, it is the duty of the judge to preside over them. Also, when the prosecution and the defense present evidence, arguments, and legal briefs in criminal law cases, it is the judge who reviews them.
The same authority is in charge of hearing two combative parties during a dispute. In addition to helping juries understand their responsibilities and duties, judges also provide guidance and support.
While the list of law jobs is vast, judges are held in the highest esteem by all other legal and non-legal professions. The reason for such reverence is the fact that a judge needs to be educated, experienced, and highly knowledgeable in judicial procedures, legal issues, and current laws.
Also, reviewing and analyzing the legal and factual components of different cases fall within the daily operations of a typical judge. Moreover, every judge goes through an immense amount of information originating in paperwork and documentation that both parties file during cases.
Serving as fair, unbiased, and independent arbiters, judges promote and uphold the highest professional, respectful, and appropriate manners at all times.
Judge Salaries & Training
The great news is that if you become a federal judge in the US, you’re guaranteed to make more than $200,000 per year. Official government statistics show that American judges earn the following annual salaries:
- District judge: $218,600
- Circuit judge: $231,800
- Associate judge: $268,300
- Chief justice: $280,500
That said, becoming a judge is not an easy feat. Typically, one has to be a very experienced barrister or solicitor to gain access to this non-direct-entry profession. Wearing a judge's robe means having to complete post-qualification and full-time experience in no less than seven years
When it comes to criminal law jobs, a barrister is a type of lawyer who not only represents their clients in court but also provides expert legal advice. The vast majority of barristers either work as partners with other barristers or work on their own.
For the most part, barristers will specialize in a specific area of the law. For example, a barrister could work exclusively on lawsuits involving medical negligence, represent companies when it comes to matters of commercial law, or focus on criminal law cases (the most significant percentage choose this area).
Government law jobs are not foreign to barristers either, and neither is having other solicitors or law firms retaining them to provide specialist input in some instances, or to perform court appearances. Researching precedents, case histories, and legal issues also fall into their line of work.
Before preparing various legal documentation, such as case briefs, they will also interpret legislative requirements, judgments, and laws. At the same time, meeting with clients and arranging out-of-court settlements are other activities these experts regularly perform.
Barrister Salaries & Training
Being a barrister is among the top-paying law jobs today, with their annual income depending on their area of law, post-qualification experience, and location. At the very least, you can expect to make $55K per year as a newly qualified barrister.
While that might seem underwhelming, remember that the median annual salary for this profession is a very healthy $146K, with the best and most experienced barristers pulling in annual salaries somewhere around the $400K mark. In some cases, $1,000,000 a year isn’t out of the question.
It’s difficult to become a barrister due to the fierce competition. Your academic achievements need to be consistently high, and your record stellar. An undergraduate degree is required, and the process of becoming a barrister starts with securing a pupillage.
If you're successful in securing a pupillage, you'll be assigned to a trained barrister, under whose supervision and guidance you'll learn and work for one year. After one year, your further career will depend on whether you manage to join well-known chambers and establish a good reputation.
That said, being a barrister is probably one of the most demanding and most challenging law degree jobs.
Be it criminal, commercial, or civil law issues, solicitors provide legal services to both institutional and individual clients. During their daily activities, these legal professionals work with many other experts, both non-legal and legal.
If you’re currently considering a legal job opportunity as a solicitor, the first thing you need to know is that there are two types of these legal professionals.
Commercial solicitors represent the first significant group and provide legal advice mostly to companies. However, many also represent individuals. In other words, commercial solicitors encompass different types of legal practice. Examples include sports and media law, transport, intellectual property, employment, finance, commercial property, communications, competition, contracts, and corporate law.
On the other hand, non-commercial solicitors mostly concentrate on matters that don’t fall within the business domain. Areas these solicitors primarily focus on are issues regarding trusts, taxation, residential property and conveyancing, inheritance and succession, criminal litigation, family law, personal injury, and various other family law jobs.
Solicitor Salaries & Training
Salary-wise, solicitors are looking at different rates and grades that depend mostly on the reputation and size of the law firm, area of practice, and location. Trainee salaries are nothing to write home about, with some junior solicitors earning around $40K per year. The median wage might also surprise you, at only $57,000 per year. However, once you have some experience under your belt, you could be looking at a higher-end salary of around $180K per year.
Across the majority of law firms with lawyer job postings, solicitors spend two years training (the duration of a standard contract). Gaining a well-rounded experience in various areas of the law also involves trainees performing between three and six placements across multiple departments within the firm.
In return, trainees receive hands-on training across a wide range of legal disciplines, as well as dedicated training sessions.
Individuals with a legal secretary job mostly perform office management and general administration activities. Examples of such activities include taking dictation or minutes, typing up correspondence, preparing paperwork, or managing inbound phone calls.
Additional activities for legal secretaries include maintaining or managing library resources and databases, assigning resources and workspaces for trainee solicitors and new employees, as well as setting up client appointments.
In other words, a legal secretary is a person who handles everything aside from practicing law in a law firm. Performing legal assistant jobs involves mostly doing such work for partner members and greatly facilitating the daily operations of law firms.
Legal Secretary Salaries & Training
Factors like the type, location, and size of an employer are relevant when it comes to a legal secretary's salary. Your level of expertise and experience is also a crucial consideration. However, having more than five years of experience in medium, large, or multinational firms puts you at the highest end of the salary spectrum.
Typical starting salaries are upwards of $35,000 annually for performing the necessary activities mentioned above within the legal secretary job description. Following a decent amount of experience, the median pay for legal secretaries is $56,000, with the upper limit extending to around $82,000.
Personal study and hands-on experience are the most common ways of facilitating training for these legal professionals. At the same time, professional or advanced training courses are sometimes sponsored by employers.
Advancement opportunities for legal secretaries mostly involve working your way up to an office manager, though becoming a legal executive or paralegal are viable alternatives as well. There have also been cases of legal secretaries becoming qualified solicitors after completing a law degree.
When it comes to law office jobs, most people typically think of paralegals or law office clerks. While paralegals do not practice as lawyers due to their lack of formal qualifications, they are still educated legal professionals.
Usually, paralegals perform clerical and back-office management duties. Examples of these duties include setting up appointments with clients, answering telephones, and filing. When it comes to legal matters they are assigned to, paralegals also collate relevant material and research the topic.
As cases are assigned to practicing solicitors, it is the paralegal's job to highlight valid precedents and case decisions, as well as prepare briefing notes for them.
Paralegal Salaries & Training
As with most other legal careers that don’t require a law degree, law clerk jobs come with annual salaries that range anywhere upward of $35,000 for individuals with less than five years of experience. However, factors such as the area of practice, type of employer, size of the employer, and location can also affect earnings.
The median annual salary is $49,000, but paralegals who have more than five years of experience can expect to make up to $72,000 per year.
Paralegal job prospects are better for individuals who hold diplomas in business, finance, accounting, law, and other related disciplines. That said, academic qualifications such as a degree or diploma in any discipline are helpful.
Most of the time, law firms offer structured development programs for paralegal trainees to go through, especially if the firm is larger. Considering the aforementioned law clerk job description, on-the-job training has proven to be just as effective as the work shadowing that typically occurs in medium and smaller law firms.
Job performance, qualifications, and experience are the deciding factors for the progression of a paralegal's career. The typical advancement options for these legal professionals are twofold.
One involves working as a paralegal with a continued effort to gain specialist-level expertise in a narrow area of practice. The other includes additional learning to ensure a pupillage or training contract, which usually means attempting to qualify as a barrister or solicitor later.
When observing a legal job listing, many get confused when they see the term “legal executive.” Let's get something straight before we proceed any further: legal executives are qualified and fully trained as lawyers. The difference between lawyers and legal executives is that the latter typically specialize in a very narrow area of legal practice.
Most frequently, legal executives find employment as members of in-house legal teams working for commercial enterprises in the private sector or public sector organizations and law firms.
For the most part, being a practicing legal executive is essentially no different than being a practicing solicitor. The role of a legal executive includes preparing legal documentation and attending court proceedings, as well as interacting with and representing clients.
At the same time, your additional activities may require you to apply statutory regulations, rules, and principles to such matters as inheritance and wealth tax. Drafting contracts, setting up trusts, and preparing wills also fall within the job description of a legal executive.
Legal Executive Salaries & Training
If you’re currently browsing law student jobs hoping to become a legal executive, here's what you need to know about salary, education, and progression for this legal profession.
Annually, new legal executives typically earn upwards of $55,000 as a starting salary. However, this can increase dramatically; at the high end of the spectrum, salaries can go up to $230,000 per year, with the median being $146,000.
Part-time or full-time experience as a caseworker or paralegal (or any other pre-law jobs, for that matter) can be very beneficial in getting into this profession, but the most important thing is to get the proper qualifications with the appropriate institution in your area. After that, the only factors affecting further career development are your experience, area of expertise, and overall performance.
Before you know it, you could find yourself at the head of a team or full-blown department of junior solicitors, paralegals, and legal executives.
Careers Related to Law that You May Not Have Considered Before
It’s true that the vast majority of those who go into law passionately have big dreams about their legal careers in the future. And indeed, law graduate jobs come in all shapes and sizes. Between entry-level law jobs at one end of the spectrum and the top-paying law jobs at the other, there’s a variety of choices one can make.
However, should things pan out so that you’re not at the top of the selection, that’s no reason to become disappointed in the industry. Our advice is to continue honing your skills while diligently pursuing careers that can be just as fulfilling as your first picks, yet ones you likely hadn’t considered before.
We’re fully aware that life is about taking the good with the bad, and sometimes you just have to compromise. That’s a given across many jobs in law, which is why we want to give you some more options to keep in mind should things not go 100% according to plan. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find yourself in some of these.
Federal Law Enforcement Jobs
The federal government is home to some of the most desirable law enforcement careers. Some of the greatest benefits of pursuing a career in federal law enforcement include, but are not limited to, generous retirement packages, great health benefits, and high salaries.
Covering many types of law enforcement jobs, you can pursue a career in federal law enforcement through several different agencies. The FBI, for example, is among the most famous and best known federal law enforcement agencies. This agency offers a number of the highest-paying law enforcement jobs in general law enforcement, computer fraud, financial crime, and law.
Other federal law enforcement agencies include the DEA, ICE, Secret Service, ATF, U.S. Marshals, NCIS, Border Patrol, DOD, and many others.
Environmental Law Jobs
You might be surprised to learn that a career in environmental law is highly sought-after when it comes to law-related jobs. In this day and age, however, environmental concerns are becoming more significant as the global population is becoming more aware of the state of our planet.
Jobs in the law field typically have to do with becoming a solicitor or criminal law attorney, but being an environmental lawyer is equally, if not more, rewarding. Environmental lawyers are experts in a broad area of law.
These legal professionals specialize in issues that have to do with the protection of species, waste management, air and water pollution, climate change, and so on. A law degree is a requirement for becoming an environmental lawyer, and adopting a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving early on in your studies will help you advance in your career.
Estimates of this law jobs salary range quite dramatically, with the average listed as anything from $58,000 to $123,000 depending on which source you consult. However, it’s clear that this field will become much more important in the coming years and decades, so you can expect salaries to increase substantially.
Patent Attorney Jobs
Patent attorneys deal primarily in copyright law, as well as design rights, trademarks, and patents. These legal professionals spend the better part of their careers advising clients on various areas that surround intellectual property rights, such as patent infringement. At the same time, patent attorneys also help companies and individual inventors correctly go through the process of obtaining a patent in the first place.
As you’d expect, salaries for patent law jobs can be exceptionally high. As a junior patent lawyer at the bottom end of the scale, you might find yourself earning around $90K per year. That increases to an annual average of more than $130K for those with a bit more experience. At the higher end of the spectrum, annual salaries of $200K or above are realistic.
International Law Jobs
When you’re going through a legal job listing and you see an opening for a legal position that requires a specialist in international law, what is your first thought? Well, you should respond to the listing immediately, because international law is a highly competitive field.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to work long-term, short-term, or project-based; you have a host of careers at your disposal in this field, each of which offers an attractive salary. International lawyers, for example, earn on average around $120,000 per year, with the best-paid among them earning closer to $200K annually.
Of course, international law qualifications can help you work in other fields, including as a diplomat or an ambassador. You might also consider being a mediator, a policy advisor, or a legal advisor. You could even look for project-based or part-time law jobs in this field, which might not pay as much but probably offer the best work-life balance.
Law Librarian Jobs
When it comes to law school jobs that few people understand are so highly required and esteemed, law librarians are probably at the top of the list. Typically working in government libraries, law firms, corporate law departments, and law schools, law librarians are experts in information resources.
Boasting an extensive knowledge of electronic and print media, they assist library patrons, staff, students, and attorneys on the use of business and legal research resources. It’s among the more sought-after public interest law jobs, and law librarians often work in the public sector for federal, state, and local government agencies and courts.
The average annual salary of US law librarians is around $60,000 in 2021, although that can vary depending on the location, size, and type of the library, as well as the qualifications of the employee.
Sports Law Jobs
The simplest way to define sports law is to describe it as a combination of several different types of law, all of which have a joint impact on the sports industry today. For example, many consider athletics administration, criminal law, trademark, personal injury law, contract law, and even business law jobs to be ones that have an impact on the sports industry.
When it comes to lawyers who work for individual professional athletes, they typically live in major entertainment hubs (think LA or NYC). On the other hand, lawyers working for professional teams live in the cities that the teams are based out of. Sports lawyers have a unique opportunity to practice law in an influential and high-profile field.
Sports lawyers make around $100,000 per year on average, though in most cases their salaries will fluctuate between $75,000 and $130,000 depending on a range of factors.
Health Law Jobs
While not all careers in the medico-legal field require a law degree, it’s necessary to point out that some of them deal more with legal affairs, while others are heavier on the healthcare side. Forensic nursing, for example, is ideal for bridging the gap between law enforcement and healthcare without requiring any legal training.
On the other hand, becoming a medical malpractice attorney does require a law degree. These legal professionals specialize in trying cases that involve an alleged or actual mistake by a physician, which either cost a patient their life or was detrimental to it.
There are various other healthcare law jobs available out there, though the aforementioned are among the most exciting.
Constitutional Law Jobs
Specializing in constitutional law is typically done by either attorneys or law professors. Constitutional law is one of the most demanding fields of law out there, and specializing in it usually requires professional education that is much more extensive and longer-lasting than a simple bachelor’s degree.
Both of these professions in constitutional law are centered on not only the interpretation, but also the application of the United States Constitution, which is basically the supreme law of the nation. As this law outlines the activities of the federal government in relation to its citizens and states, it represents the final authority on the functioning of the federal government.
If you’re looking to specialize in this field of law, you’ll be looking at an average yearly salary of around $120,000 as an attorney, and around $111,000 as a law professor. That said, law teacher jobs are currently less lucrative, but are expected to become more so in the coming years.
Immigration Law Jobs
There are a variety of careers to be had in immigration law, but by far the three most popular ones are law professors, paralegals/legal assistants, and lawyers. There are also plenty of human rights law jobs that those who specialize in immigration law need to cooperate with on a daily basis, for obvious reasons.
Each of these vocations specializes in the field of law that has to do with immigration and statistics, and the education requirements are the same as for a number of similar careers in other fields of law.
In other words, while law school professors specializing in immigration law need to have a doctoral degree in law, this is not the case for the other two professions. Paralegals can have a certificate in paralegal studies, though they need to have a minimum of an associate’s degree, and immigration lawyers must not only boast a law degree but also complete the bar exam.
Paralegals and legal assistants focusing on immigration law make around $51,000 yearly, law professors earn approximately $111,000, while immigration lawyers bring in around $121,000 every year.
Real Estate Attorney Jobs
As a result of having to be familiar with housing regulations and land laws, real estate lawyers typically offer legal counsel to clients with regards to residential, industrial, and commercial properties.
While some real estate attorneys choose to place their focus on handling the purchase and sale of properties, others may choose to deal exclusively with tenants and landlords. Extensive training ensures these legal professionals are competent to represent and advise clients in transactions involving property and land. In addition to often specializing in specific functions of law, real estate attorneys may also work for different companies and firms.
The average annual salary for this particular career in law is around $121,000.
Media Law Jobs
Media law is a type of law that encapsulates a broad range of different media, such as print media, internet, and broadcast television. Media law is designed to regulate the use and production of media, so it involves countless types of legal issues that can occur during the consumption or production of different types of media.
The most common occupation in this field of law is as a media lawyer - an individual who can either work for the government with the Federal Communication Commission or in private practice.
On the one hand, lawyers who represent individuals typically function as part of a talent agency or solo practitioners. On the other, the majority of media lawyers seek employment in mid- and large-size law firms, or as in-house counsel. Average yearly salaries for media lawyers are typically around $120,000.
Political Law Jobs
If you’re looking to get your hands on a graduate degree in political science and one in law, your safest bet is to pursue a political science career as either a state or federal government employee. The rising number of social problems both in the US and around the world is causing governments to seek individuals who possess skills and knowledge in both political science and law.
Examples of tasks political scientists are often asked to perform include forecasting trends in the political, social, and economic arenas, as well as investigating election results. At the same time, they’re no strangers to everything from small town politics to examining Supreme Court decisions.
Political scientists typically make around $125,000 per year.
Motivations for entering the legal profession vary vastly according to individuals and the specific careers they choose. For the most part, becoming a licensed professional of any kind is only possible with an enormous amount of ambition. The law may be an excellent fit for you if you're the kind of person who thrives on the pride of climbing the corporate ladder or the challenge of winning a case in court.
That said, helping others in need is another major reason for getting into law. Because the law affects every aspect of our lives, it’s both compelling and enticing – especially for those who want to change the world.
As you can see from everything mentioned above, there are numerous career options awaiting you within the legal industry. Not only are these careers exciting, but they're also well-respected and well-paid. When you add to that the pleasure of helping others and bettering the world in the process, it becomes clear why law jobs promise to remain so popular in the future.