An expensive, time-consuming law education doesn’t have to be your only ticket into the legal industry. This thriving field offers plenty of opportunities for highly skilled, detail-oriented professionals to start well-paid and exciting legal careers. Read on for our list of the top five legal jobs that come without the price tag of law school.
1. Paralegal/Legal Assistant
If you enjoy the fast-paced, deadline-focused nature of legal work, you may be suited for a career as a paralegal or legal assistant. Depending on the office, a paralegal or legal assistant may research facts and gather evidence, prepare documents, interview witnesses, and write legal documents such as memos, briefs, and motions.
The average salary of paralegals and legal assistants reached $51,740 in 2019, and the job outlook is expected to grow at 10% by 2029, a much faster rate than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
(BLS). It is worth noting that legal assistants
tend to perform more clerical, administrative work, while paralegals focus on higher-level tasks such as legal research and trial preparation.
2. Court Reporter
Working as a court reporter gives you a front-row seat to hearings, depositions, and other legal proceedings that require a written transcript. Court reporters play a critical role in these events, capturing the proceedings fully and accurately. Along with excellent listening skills and attention to detail, you may need to attend a court reporting program or earn a license, which is required in some states.
In 2019, the median pay for court reporters was $60,130, according to the BLS
. Those with specialized skills in real-time captioning and communication access real-time translation (CART) have the potential for the most lucrative careers.
3. Electronic Discovery Specialist
Your knack for online sleuthing could turn into an in-demand asset if you pursue work as an e-discovery specialist. The e-discovery market is expected to top $17 billion by 2023, according to a Research and Markets report
. In this highly coveted market, you review and manage electronic records involved in the discovery process. This may mean you analyze electronically stored information to decide its relevance to the case on which you’re working. You might also train attorneys and clients on e-discovery policies and procedures, help clients minimize the associated risks and expenses of e-discovery, and develop a plan for digital storage.
4. Contract Administrator
Contract administrators apply their keen eye for detail and understanding of legal jargon by overseeing drafting and revising a company’s contracts. Due to the specialized nature of the role, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree and a combination of work experience in the legal field, such as several years as a paralegal. Contract administrators are typically classified as “administrative service managers,” which earned a median pay of $96,940 in 2019, according to the BLS
Your next great job awaits.
5. Compliance Analyst
As a result of the increasing complexity and number of regulations in sectors such as finance and healthcare, companies are seeking qualified compliance professionals to ensure they’re operating according to the appropriate rules and regulations. As a compliance analyst or manager, you can apply your strong analytical and researching abilities in a satisfying legal role. You may research regulations, communicate information to other departments regarding regulatory requirements, and obtain approvals. In 2019, compliance officers earned a median salary of $69,050
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