Here is a list of traditional and not so traditional careers in the legal field

Here is a list of traditional and not so traditional careers in the legal field

When you think of jobs in the legal field, do you automatically think of courtrooms filled with attorneys objecting to this or that? A common perception is that if you get a law degree, your intention is to become a lawyer to spend countless hours in front of a judge litigating cases. Granted, that certainly is a common avenue of choice for those pursuing a law degree, but definitely not the only option available.  

Having a legal background is in high demand for employers in government and private sectors as well. And not all jobs in the legal field require a four year degree which opens up the job market  even more for various legal professions. Knowledge in the legal field is valuable to all employers in this day and age of strict regulation. From small businesses to major corporations, it is essential to have an employee with an understanding of legal matters who can cut through the red tape. 

We’ll take a look at both traditional jobs in the legal field and not so traditional jobs. There are more job opportunities for those with a legal background than you might think.

Traditional Legal Careers:

Paralegal – They are the behind the scenes professionals that perform some of the vital research and investigative functions. They analyze and organize the information and documentation, prepare written reports and assist in drafting pleadings or contracts for attorneys. Most paralegals are employed by law firms, but not all. There are opportunities in corporate legal offices and government offices too. As the laws become more complex, their knowledge of the law can vary from personal injury, criminal law, real estate or even immigration. Many paralegals enjoy working in the community service area assisting with legal aid for the poor or the aged.

Criminal Justice careers – Other exciting opportunities for jobs in the legal field involve Criminal Justice careers. This can include careers as a crime scene technician, forensic technician, corrections officer, police officer, defense attorney or parole officer. Crime scene technicians collect detailed evidence by photographing the crime scene and obtaining physical evidence to classify and research. Along with a forensic technician, they help to reconstruct the scene of the crime. 


Court Reporting Court reporters can work for a law firm or enjoy some flexibility as independent contractors for the legal community. They are the backbone of the court system as they listen to the evidence and accurately record conversations between all parties of a case. A court reporter will later transcribe the notes to provide to the attorneys of the case. Court reporters enjoy diversity, as no two cases are alike! 

Non-Traditional Legal Careers:

In non-traditional careers you do not practice law, but must have a thorough understanding of legal matters.

Academic Administration – Academic institutions must follow strict state and federal regulations so knowledge of the legal system is crucial. Affirmative action officers, grant specialists and licensing directors are all career opportunities you will find in colleges or universities throughout the country. These job positions may be required to confer with counsel and having a legal background provides a definite advantage over an employee who does not.

Banking and Finance – The banking and finance industry is tightly regulated and you will find ample jobs in the legal field here. The job opportunities here include: compliance officer, financial planners, securities examiner or escrow agents. Once again, these positions do not participate in litigation, but must have the legal background to comply with the strict regulations in force in financial institutions today.

Having a legal background is desired in many industries. The opportunities for jobs in the legal field are endless and your knowledge will be highly sought after.