Legal Professions That Don’t Require a Law Degree
This following guest article was written by Richard Hemby who regularly writes about online law degree programs and college related topics for Online College Guru, an online college degree guide.
While the best known legal profession is that of attorney, many other career paths are available to those who do not hold a law degree. Legal professionals work in a wide range of law enforcement jobs and in a variety of environments, from traditional courtrooms to crime scenes and even educational settings. Here are four of the most popular legal careers that do not require an advanced degree.
Careers in court reporting require a meticulous attention to detail and a thorough knowledge of legal procedures. Court reporters are responsible for recording every aspect of courtroom procedure, including all words spoken within the courtroom during a legal proceeding. Typically, court reporters use one of two methods of transcription. Machine transcription is a form of shorthand that allows the reporter to take down the words as they are said, while voice writing requires the reporter to repeat those words exactly for later transcription.
One of the most dramatic legal professions, criminal investigators work side by side with police to collect evidence and solve cases. This career is perhaps best known through numerous television depictions, but the reality is that most criminal investigators simply store and catalog evidence from various cases in order to prepare reports that will be presented as evidence in court. Many criminal investigators serve as expert witnesses, reporting on their findings in person and answering questions about their results. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or another related field is required in order to perform the complex analysis required for these high-tech jobs.
Jobs in corrections include careers as prison guards and parole officers. These high-pressure jobs put corrections officers in direct contact with convicted criminals; as a result, these jobs require constant vigilance and caution. Most corrections officers are responsible for maintaining the safety and security of the public by monitoring and controlling conditions within prisons and other detention facilities. This can sometimes put them in situations where they face direct confrontation by inmates and parolees; for this reason, corrections officers are typically in good physical shape to allow them to more easily handle these situations when they arise.
The administrative assistants of the legal profession, legal secretaries typically serve as clerks and managers for large legal firms. They type, file, and prepare cases for trial, freeing up the time of attorneys and using advanced computer technology to ensure that cases are tracked and schedules are kept current. Legal secretaries require no special legal training, but must be familiar with legal terminology and the formats of common types of legal documents.
These are only a few of the numerous jobs available within the legal profession that do not require a degree in law. While some jobs require only a high school diploma, most require at least some specialized training in order to ensure success. Training courses for these and other professions in the legal field are typically available through vocational-technical centers and community colleges.