Love the legal system but didn’t go to law school? These jobs are for you
Make a case for yourself in one of these law careers.
If you find yourself captivated by courtroom dramas, legal issues, and other matters of the law to the point where you think you want to work in the field, there’s some good news for you: You don’t have to go to law school to pursue legal jobs. In fact, thanks to technology and a demand for specialized expertise, there are lots of career paths beyond becoming an attorney (and the years of schooling that it entails) to get in on some select law careers.
“Job seekers who are considering an alternative career within the legal profession have a wealth of diverse positions, industries, and opportunities to explore,” says Jamy J. Sullivan, JD, executive director of Robert Half Legal, a legal staffing and consulting solutions firm.
In fact, nearly six in 10 lawyers (59%) recently surveyed by Robert Half said their law firm or company plans to hire for a variety of roles in the second half of 2019.
From research and analytics to mediation and data privacy, becoming a specialist in a related field can provide just the legal career loophole you need. Check out some top jobs for people who want to explore law careers without the law school requirement, and see if you can make a case for yourself.
Lots of regulations in health care, finance, and other sectors mean that people are needed to sort out all of those nitty-gritty details. “If you’ve been considering a career as a compliance analyst, it’s a good time make the transition as a growing number of regulations are leading to expanded career opportunities,” says Sullivan.
Specialists in these fields need to be on top of ongoing changes to regulatory laws so that they can advise their clients on the proper responses. In addition, they’ll need top-notch communication skills and high ethical standards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), compliance offers earn a median of $67,870 per year.
Find compliance jobs on Monster.
There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t hear about some new data breach, which is why data privacy laws are in a constant state of flux. As a result, many law firms and companies are employing professionals who have experience in this field, whether it’s helping them comply with the EU’s GDPR, California’s Consumer Privacy Act, or to assess internal security and privacy risks and develop policies, says Sullivan.
Data privacy specialists don’t necessarily have to be math whizzes or law experts, but they should be proficient in using advanced analytics and monitoring technologies. Some key responsibilities you might have in this field include privacy audits, privacy litigation, and issues related to employee privacy, employee monitoring, health care privacy, and direct marketing policies. According to the BLS, information security analysts earn a median of $98,350 per year.
Find data privacy jobs on Monster.
Gathering information and research used to require sifting through volumes of case law and requesting boxes of files. Today, with the digitalization of most information, there is a growing need for eDiscovery specialists who not only possess knowledge of the litigation process, but who can also use predictive coding and analytics software to process electronic documents and analyze data for investigations and trials. It’s a litigation support role, but one that is vital for winning cases. According to Payscale.com, eDiscovery specialists earn an average of $51,205 per year.
Find eDiscovery jobs on Monster.
Legal fees are expensive on the client side, and law firms with limited resources can only expect their attorneys to work so many hours. That’s where mediators can come in and help resolve disputes before they get to the court level. “Mediators primarily work to help involved parties resolve conflicts and ultimately avoid court or jury trials,” says Sullivan.
Some specialties of mediation include personal injury, divorce, medical malpractice, tax and workers compensation, among others. Mediators do not have to have a JD, but they do need a solid background knowledge of the law, as well as subject matter expertise (so divorce mediators should be experts in the state’s marriage/divorce laws) and the ability to communicate very well. According to the BLS, mediators and arbitrators earn a median of $62,270 per year.
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Paralegals help attorneys by managing clients through the legal process, conducting research, and preparing documents. Most have at least an associate’s degree or a certificate in paralegal studies. According to the BLS, paralegals earn a median of $50,940 per year.
Patent agents help clients file patents for their inventions and prosecute patent applications, but they don’t have to have JD degrees to do so. Patent agents can practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office without going to law school. They do need to pass the USPTO Patent Bar, however. Most agents enter the field with a background in science or engineering. According to Payscale.com, patent agents earn an average of $99,197 per year.
Find patent agent jobs on Monster.
Jury consultants play a big role in helping lawyers predict how potential jurors might vote using a complex system of social and demographic data and observation. Likewise, trial consultants advise law teams on tactics the can use to communicate in front of juries, when questioning different types of witnesses, and more, including both verbal strategies and body language. Psychology, sociology, and data crunching all come into play in these types of law careers.
Find trial consultant jobs on Monster.
Bring some order to your career
Now that you know there are legal jobs that don't require you to go to law school, let alone pass the bar, you can begin exploring your options and making a case for yourself to legal employers. Could you use some help with that? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of law careers that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads. Those are two quick and easy ways Monster can help you bring down the gavel on your job search.