5 Careers with a Degree in Paralegal Studies
• Paralegals or Legal Assistants
• Legislative Assistant
• Human Resources Representative
• Compliance Officer
• Law Enforcement Officer
Although many candidates choose to be paralegals, there are several other career options with a degree in paralegal studies. The paralegal studies degree is a pre-law degree that teaches students about various areas of the law and qualifies them to work in various job settings, including government, law enforcement, corporations and law firms. The paralegal studies degree can be earned as an associate degree program or by someone with a bachelor’s degree in another major. It can also act as a foundation for a law degree. Here are five possible careers with a degree in legal studies.
1. Paralegals or Legal Assistants
Paralegal or legal assistant is usually the most popular career choice with a degree in paralegal studies. Many paralegal students complete internships at law firms and decide to start their careers in the same firms. Paralegals do much of the same work as lawyers, which allows lawyers to work more efficiently and see more clients. Paralegals draft documents, take witness statements, coordinate exhibits for cases, check legal documents for accuracy, perform research for the lawyers and often accompany the lawyer in court.
2. Legislative Assistant
A legislative assistant is a professional who works for a legislator. They assist in monitoring potential legislation, offer advice and counsel, make recommendations, draft legislation and conduct research. Using their knowledge of the law, legislative assistants advise the legislators on the legislation’s impact on constituents and offer their advice on the merit of the legislation at hand. The writing skills they’ve developed from the legal studies programs are utilized in drafting language for laws and bills, writing up correspondence and creating speeches.
3. Human Resources Representative
A human resources representative is another career option with a degree in paralegal studies. Almost every company, regardless of size, has some sort of human resources representative. The individual might be the main human resources representative or might be part of a large human resources department. Human resources representatives must be knowledgeable of wage and employment laws, hiring and terminating employees and utilizing the workforce. Human resources representatives must also ensure the pension and benefits programs and company policies are in complains of the law. Human resources representatives with a paralegal studies degree might also work with union and employee contracts.
4. Compliance Officer
Compliance officers can be found in most organizations or businesses. Their job is to monitor the regulations and laws of a company and ensure by their actions that the company complies with all the policies, laws and contract stipulations. Students in a paralegal program develop the legal reasoning and critical reading skills needed to work as compliance officers. Compliance officers not only monitor the company and its employees but also help develop policies, educate employees and advise management regarding compliance laws and the importance of being compliant.
5. Law Enforcement Officer
Graduates of a paralegal studies degree often choose to work as law enforcement professionals. Positions are often open at various levels from the local police department to state and federal agencies. Law enforcement officers must have a solid understanding of the law and legal concepts, much of what was learned in the paralegal studies program. In addition to patrolling and investigating crimes, law enforcement officers must also arrest offenders and write up reports to describe crimes and criminals. They must also have excellent verbal and communication skills so that they may educate the public on laws.
Related Resource: 15 Affordable Online Associate’s Degrees in Paralegal Studies
There are various reasons for earning a paralegal studies degree, including salary potential, job growth and being part of an exciting career. Paralegal is a high-demand field that’s ranked 14th among the Best Social Service Jobs by U.S. News & World Report. What makes it even better is there are various career options with a degree in paralegal studies.