Unique Career Choices In The Legal Field 

Posted by: Ms. Myra Nader PhD at 06/12/2021 1,200 views

Work in the legal profession is set to rise 5% from 2019 to 2029 as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth will result in close to 68,000 new jobs and these are not limited to lawyers. Providing legal services is a complex operation and it takes a team of people with diverse skills, experience, and education to succeed and flourish. This is a massive opportunity for those who are interested in developing a career in the legal field but would prefer not to be a lawyer as there are many other occupations that one can get into. If you don’t think you have the skills or the education but would still like to pursue a legal career, you might want to consider online learning to get a degree or a course certification, just like the 4 million people who did by the end of 2019. These are some jobs in the legal domain that you can take an online course for.

Paralegal And Legal Assistant

Paralegals help lawyers prepare for hearings, trials, and meetings by writing up reports. These reports are based on research for pertinent laws and regulations for a particular case. Paralegals are also responsible for gathering, organizing, and maintaining legal documents. An associate’s degree or a certificate in paralegal studies is required for this job. 

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Legal assistants or legal secretaries have more administrative tasks. They manage appointments for interviews, meetings, and depositions, and calendar court appearances. They draft correspondence, organize files, and take care of client billing. They are normally not entrusted to answer a client’s questions, but they are tasked to write the questions down in a memo so that the lawyer is aware of the client’s needs.  Though there are no degrees or certificates necessary to be a legal assistant, organizational, interpersonal, multi-tasking, adaptability, and communication skills are highly valued.

Legal Copywriter

Law firms don’t always have the time or inclination to market their business. However, it’s important to remember that excellent marketing will drive more clients to your firm. Law firm copywriting is one way to market a firm. No special certifications are necessary to be a law firm copywriter, although obviously, they would need the expertise that first-rate copywriters have. This includes proficient writing skills, the ability to form powerful headlines, and an awareness of user experience and marketing. To be a law firm copywriter, one must also know the ethical and legal considerations as guided by the American Bar Association and the State Bar. And one last but equally important fact to note is that effective legal copywriters are able to write compelling content that is understandable by non-lawyers. In other words, making it “relatable” to non-lawyers is what guarantees success. 

E-Discovery Professional

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure enacted in 2006 “require parties in litigation to preserve and produce documents that exist only in electronic form (“e-documents”) such as e-mails, voicemails, graphics, instant messages, e-calendars and data on handheld devices.” This paved the way for the need for e-discovery professionals such as document coders, e-discovery analysts/specialists, e-discovery managers, and e-discovery directors. The responsibilities of e-discovery professionals are the evaluation of electronically stored information (ESI), assist in making ESI preservation policies, establish compliance with federal rules on ESI, use technology for discovery, serving on e-discovery teams, and liaising between the legal team, IT personnel, vendors, and records management personnel among others. Certification is not required to be an e-discovery professional although a background, degree, or certificate in law or IT will increase job prospects and pay.

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Litigation Support Professional

Litigation support professionals assist lawyers in dealing with the details that go with massive litigation. They create and execute databases for managing, sorting, indexing, abstracting, and coordinating the large amounts of data produced by huge litigation. They may also make data management procedures, help with technology in the courtroom, provide user support and training, and coordinate with technology vendors. Litigation support professionals typically have four-year degrees or associate degrees related to law or IT. Certification in litigation support is an advantage.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The good lawyer is not the man who has an eye to every side and angle of contingency and qualifies all his qualifications, but who throws himself on your part so heartily, that he can get you out of a scrape,”. But, it’s also important to remember that a lawyer can’t be good without the support staff. There are many other professions in the field of law that law firms and attorneys rely on. Legal transcriptionists, court reporters, jury consultants, mediators, and trial consultants are in demand as advances and changes in regulations, technology, the economy, and the number of caseloads continue to rise each year. This opens up a host of job opportunities for whoever loves and is fascinated with the law. Your background, technical skills, and work experience matter, but a 4-year degree, an associate degree, or a certification for any of these roles can give you an edge.

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