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Are you considering a legal career? Exploring different types of law careers helps you determine if it’s the right field for you. From salary to specialties and jobs other than lawyers, having a clear understanding of how law careers work makes it easier to plan your path.
Check out what you need to knew about law careers below.
Law Career Path
To become a lawyer, you need a bachelors degree and three years of law school. You’ll need to pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before you can enter law school. Once you complete your law degree, you have to pass the bar exam, which is administered by the state.
Your first law career job description as a lawyer will likely be that of associate. Most law firms have junior and senior associates based on experience and your work quality.
You can advance to partner in some firms. Non-equity partners don’t have a stake in the firm and are usually paid a salary, while equity partners share in the profits of the firm since they have an ownership stake. A managing partner takes on the management of daily operations at the firm.
You can also start your own law firm. You have more control over your career, but you’re responsible for all aspects of running the business in addition to being a lawyer.
Specialization Is Common
Lawyers often specialize in a certain area of law, such as personal injury, taxes, real estate, family, immigration, employment, or criminal law. This allows the attorney to become more skilled in the specific area to be more effective. You can read more here about personal injury attorneys to get an idea of how specialization works.
Having experience in a certain field can help you specialize. If you’ve worked in the tax field, you might make a good tax lawyer. If you have a medical background and are looking for a career change, you might excel as a medical malpractice lawyer.
There Are Careers Other Than Lawyers
While lawyers are the most prominent in the legal field, there are other career options. Paralegals require much less schooling, but they perform many of the tasks lawyers do. They work with files, draft documents, handle research, prepare trial notes, and do other work as designated by an attorney.
Legal secretaries have fewer legal responsibilities, but they still work with files and support lawyers and paralegals. They typically transcribe dictations, draft correspondences, and serve as a first point of contact for clients.
Your law career salary can vary greatly depending on your specific role role, location, specialty, and employer. The median salary is $122,960 for lawyers. Federal government jobs tend to pay more with a median pay of $144,300 while state governments often pay on the lower end at $89,090.
Paralegals make less than lawyers with a median pay of $51,740. However, the path to becoming a paralegal is much faster, so you can begin work sooner.
Explore Types of Law Careers
Looking at the types of law careers you can have helps you narrow down your options and choose the best program. Searching for “law careers near me” can give you an idea of the types of law jobs are available in your area, but don’t limit yourself.
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