Law Degree Degrees
Career summary: Lawyers
National Average, Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
10% job growth by 2022, which is average
Earn a degree in law degree from an accredited college
The terms “lawyer” and “law school” can have a wide range of positive and negative effects. Unfortunately, lawyers have acquired a bad reputation in the U.S. They are often associated with ambulance chasing, dishonesty, and vengeful suing for millions of dollars. Many people overlook a lawyer’s power for goodÃ¢â¬âto defend the innocent, engage against crime, and mediate in civil problems. Law school is also infamously difficult and dry for some. Getting a law degree, however, doesn’t limit your options to a courtroom attorney.
Why should I get a law degree?
You may want to get a law degree if you enjoy settling disputes, studying the Constitution and government, or participating in debates. If you want to help and advise people and prove something using evidence and logic (much like science), a law degree is a great way to do it. Nearly everything about society is connected in some way to law. Since you already have experience as a citizen of community and nation, a family member, a student, a consumer, and a judge, why not make money with what you know?
What kinds of jobs could I get with my law degree?
Some commonly reported job titles include attorney, law clerk, law librarian, paralegal, adjudicator, magistrate, arbitrator, and mediator. You can work for the federal government, large or small corporations, financial institutions, universities, or self employment. Related jobs with a law degree include employee benefits manager, corporate investigator, literary agent, title examiner, and others.
5 Common Jobs
- judge, magistrate, hearing officer
- postsecondary law teacher
- credit analyst
How much will I make?
With a law degree, you have excellent earning potential: as much as $130,000 or more! Honestly. Lawyers generally earn between $75,200 and $165,470. Administrative law judges and hearing officers make median wages of $89,740. Arbitrators’ and mediators’ salaries average at $66,460. If you choose to teach at a law school, you could earn $94,260. Risk managers for financial companies are typically paid about the same. Whatever your career, you will most likely have a comfy salary.
How is the job market?
For most jobs, the outlook is average to faster than average over the coming decade. Globalization, an aging population, immigration, and advancement in technology and medicine will create new openings. Clients from all sources look to lawyers, mediators, and arbitrators to avoid or conduct lawsuits and protect their property and legal rights. You’d better be prepared to take on sometimes fierce competition both at the law school level and when seeking a job. Judges and magistrates, for example, are often prestigious positions and much sought-after.
What skills do I need?
To begin with, you should be proficient with reading, writing, and speaking. Research, logical thinking and analyzing, and negotiation skills are good to have or cultivate. Experience in the field can be very helpful also, especially to come out on top of keen competition. You could participate on the debate team, part-time clerkship at a law firm or government agency, clinical programs at your school, writing for a legal journal, or practice trials.
What classes will I take to get my law degree?
After a standard 4-year degree, you should expect about three years in law school and a written exam to meet requirements for a lawyer and many other law careers. Useful classes in college, or high school, focus on different components of law work: English, public speaking, history, government, economics, and even math and sciences. Your major should reflect one of these things. In law school, you will learn about basic legal practices like torts, civil procedure, legal writing, and contracts, and then choose a specialization. Possible curricula include Civil Litigation, Constitutional Law and Government, Estate Planning, Bankruptcy, International Human Rights, and so on. It will depend on your specialization. For a JD or LLM degree you could concentrate in international and comparative, entertainment and media, business, law and philosophy, or another area.
Salary and career outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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