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How to Have a Career in Law Without a Law Degree

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If you have always desired a challenging legal career without getting a law degree, there are many options. You can work with lawyers and get into the legal field by pursuing many interesting careers with specialized training or an associate’s degree. There are several legal careers in demand right now, such as paralegals, legal secretaries, court reporting, and criminal justice.

Careers in Criminal Justice
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06/20/2021 02:23 am GMT
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Paralegal/legal assistant

Paralegals are also called legal assistants and are people trained to assist lawyers in delivering legal services. They work in the government, law firms, corporations, and other offices and operate under the watch of an attorney. Paralegals can’t give law advice, represent clients in court, sign documents filed in court, or set legal fees.

Paralegals assist lawyers in resolving cases. They investigate facts in each case, interview clients and witnesses, carry out legal research, draft briefs, pleadings, deposition notices, motions, discovery, subpoenas, and other law documents. Paralegals also work to manage and organize exhibits, documents, and files; file documents with state and federal courts; and help at hearings, administrative proceedings, mediations, arbitrations, closings, and trials.

Although some legal assistants have no formal training, they generally have a 4-year bachelor’s degree, 2-year associate’s degree, or a paralegal certificate. In general, legal assistants with any kind of college degree or 4-year bachelor’s degree combined with certification have the highest career prospects.

Many legal assistants improve their professional status by getting paralegal certification. A majority of the certification bodies require an individual to pass an exam and have at least a year’s experience in the practice.

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Legal secretaries do little research but do more generalized tasks in a law firm. These secretaries do everything from scheduling depositions, hearings and meetings to handling correspondence on behalf of the lawyers. Those who work for a company’s legal department can also verify, review, quote, and summarize content in legal journals on behalf of busy executives. In general, legal secretaries get secretarial training that’s focused on legal terminology as well as the use of various office equipment, such as computers and transcription machines. In addition, administrative skills and legal terminology is taught, and the student will usually obtain a certificate once they complete the program.

Court reporters

The role of court reporters is to keep the right record of word-to-word transcripts of legal proceedings, conversations, meetings, as well as other events that require a documented account to act as legally binding evidence. A court reporter can work at court trials, offering webcasting and real-time captioning for different video programs, as well as translating for people with hearing disabilities. They are also involved in recording depositions, assisting judges, and assisting lawyers. They are usually employed by state and federal governments to work in public offices, courts, and other legal agencies.

Criminal justice

There are many jobs within the criminal justice sector that don’t need a law degree. They include FBI agents, police officers, CIA analysts, victim/witness advocates, forensic scientists, correction officers, and probation officers. Most of these careers don’t require an academic background in criminal justice, while some do.

A great number of jobs, professions, and careers touch on or are associated with the legal field. These jobs are many and varied and include accountant, contract administrator, risk manager, compliance officer, and real estate broker jobs. Often, these careers need some sort of specialized training, for example, accounting, while others are trained on the job.

With new laws being passed each year and civil litigation and family law steadily increasing, the demand for competent legal professionals continues to grow. An associate’s degree for a legal secretary or legal assistant or court reporter certification may be the best way to have a legal career without a law degree.

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