Degrees Options in the Legal/Paralegal Field

December 7th, 2012 by admin

For centuries, one of the most prestigious fields to work in has been law. There are a lot of students who go to law school with no intention of practicing law, but realize the value of a law degree in fields like business and politics. If you have had a fascination with the legal field, there are several areas you can get degrees in that don’t involve going to law school. Some people want to work in the law but don’t want to spend the time or money to get a law degree. The good news is, there are several different legal positions that pay well, and some don’t require a ton of schooling. The following are the degrees you can get in legal professions and the schooling involved.

Becoming a Lawyer

Becoming a lawyer is probably the most rewarding of all of the legal positions. Aside from being a judge, being a lawyer is the most prominent position in the law. Lawyers often impact the way laws are made, including making arguments in unique cases that impact case law. Lawyers typically go to the most schooling out of all the legal professions. A lawyer must attend three years of law school before graduating. Many lawyers start out making six-figure incomes, especially if they graduate from a prestigious school. If a lawyer were to start a successful private practice, especially as a litigator, the potential to make millions is very high. The cost of law school is expensive, and some people would prefer to forgo the debt and schooling for a lesser position in the legal world.

Becoming a Paralegal

Being a paralegal can come about in several ways. Some states do not require that paralegals have any kind of formal training. Some paralegals are people with degrees but not necessarily paralegal degrees. Many universities offer degrees that are two years to complete for a paralegal certificate, but there are also bachelor degrees in paralegal studies. Anyone who is interested in making a career in paralegal work would benefit from getting an actual degree in paralegal studies. Paralegals make a solid wage in America. The median income for a paralegal is $49,960, and some paralegals make quite a bit more than that at large firms.

Becoming a Court Reporter

Another common area of the law many people pursue is court reporting. Court reporting has similar elements as paralegal work, but you cannot become a court reporter without some sort of formal training. There are several trade schools that offer a degree in court reporting, and you can usually obtain a certificate in two years or less. Court reporters work at the court, mostly transcribing hearings. They also have the opportunity to work with lawyers typing up depositions. Court reporters make slightly more than paralegals on average, raking in a median salary of $53,710. Many court reporters also help attorneys transcribe audio recordings that are needed for official documents or evidence in a trial.

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