Different Career Paths for Those Interested in Law

legal career paths
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There are many reasons that people become interested in Law. Whether it’s an attraction to the world of legal terminology or simply a desire to provide a life-changing council for others, a career in Law can be an eye-catching prospect. However, tight restrictions on studying law mean that a career as a lawyer is not for everybody. Law is a field that is bound by historical precedents, which can make entering into the profession in the modern-day quite difficult. It is no secret that becoming a successful lawyer is very hard. The good news is, a career in the legal world is very possible.

Legal Cashier 

Legal cashiers are like accountants for law firms. They process transactions and make sure the law firm conforms to guidelines and rules that are set out for them. There is a lot of responsibility for legal cashiers as following account rules are a contributor to fighting fraud and money laundering. Legal cashiers indirectly but surely make a contribution to the legal system. This legal career path is perfect for those who like law but prefer numbers to words and enjoy math. Knowing the basics of accountancy is also highly important, but this can be achieved with a trip to the local library.

Legal Secretary

Legal secretaries are crucial cogs in the law machine. They provide admin support to lawyers and the law courts. They are the individuals responsible for preparing the letters and documents required in many different cases, including last wills and testaments. They typically work about 36-38 hours a week. Most people get into being a legal secretary by starting as an admin assistant at a firm related to the law and then applying for a trainee position as a legal secretary. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to be able to type at about 45 to 50 words a minute.

Paralegal

Paralegals offer support to those practicing as lawyers. A knowledge in law is required, but the same qualifications are not. Paralegals are delegated substantial amounts of legal work, for which lawyers are responsible. There is hence a lot of responsibility in a paralegal job, and it’s been described as the closest thing to being a lawyer without actually being a lawyer. However, they also operate under an independent form of legal ethics and are unlikely to be allowed to operate and work without the formal supervision of a lawyer. That also grants paralegals some professional liability as they are working as an enhancement of a lawyer who at the end of the day is responsible for their work. This means though the stakes can be high, the risk involved is not.

Criminologist

If you are desperate to get into law because you want to deal with crime and help society, you might want to consider other options. Law is notoriously inflexible in regards to qualification, but other fields are much more receptive. One such field is criminology and policing. It’s possible to apply for an online degree in criminology or policing with no prior law enforcement experience needed and walk away with an Honours BA. Criminology can allow you to become a criminologist, which attracts those who love the academic side of Law. Criminologists can actually interact with lawyers on a daily basis and can be involved in setting policy, innovating policing or setting up guidelines. It is an academic career that can be deeply ingrained in the complex legal system.

Usher

Ushers are very good at organization, and they really need to be as the stakes are high! They make sure that everybody involved in a court case is present and that they are aware of their responsibilities as well as their roles. Ushers have important skills in the art of liaison, which attracts many English students.

Getting into these careers without a degree

Many people can’t go directly into law because of the high cost of law degrees. This is a shame, as to apply for the law-firm jobs listed above you need a strong knowledge of the law or another degree to show that you can handle the writing and organization required under moderate to high pressure. Many people opt for online degrees instead. They allow you to balance your work, family, and schooling and allow you to travel and learn at the same time. They also might be more suitable for those with a low budget that have to work on the side to support their academic life.

How do Online Programs Work?

Online programs can have a huge variability in how long they take to complete and their overall structure. In some subjects, you can earn a degree in a matter of months. However, in the case of an online law degree, the average completion time is four years. This is because traditional law school programs teach from 48 to 52 weeks a year, and an online program cannot cut corners as, to teach law, you need to cover certain required modules. A degree in a career outside the law but chosen by many law-enthusiasts is the aforementioned criminology and policing. These courses take a shorter amount of time.

Online programs tend to replicate physical institutions as classes meet virtually for seminars and discussions, as well as attend virtual lectures and review texts. Assignments are also mandatory if you want to do an online law degree. The examination structure of online programs varies, but typically they differ from campus schools as they have several tests throughout the year as opposed to large and intimidating finals.

Is there any side-route into Law?

If you are passionate about becoming a lawyer you have options beyond a different career path. You can complete a law degree (which can be done online) and go into one of the careers mentioned above. Depending on your state, you can either pass the bar directly or pass the bar in a different state to apply for one in your state. Once you have passed the bar, you can then apply for a job as a lawyer.

This is where your previous experience will come in handy; you will be looked upon much more favorably by the institution that you have previously worked for. Though law firms famously prioritize ABA-accredited schools, being known as a hard worker and knowing those in the industry will offer you a much deserved helping hand.

However, even if you struggle to get employed at a firm, it’s not the end of the world! You can still work as a solo practitioner, but if you were looking for some of the perks of working in a top firm (e.g. extensive resources, huge networks of connections) then you will have to build your practice up to the stage where you can afford it.

Hopefully, this article has shown you that you can still become involved in law even if online degrees are your only options. Degrees like criminology or other fields that are related to law in some way can be highly rewarding. Without traditional restrictions, you can be much more successful working alongside the law if you’re armed with an online degree, and who knows, you might find a career that you find suits you perfectly.

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