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By Ramona Atkins, Full-Time Faculty, and Gurmit Kaur, Academic Department Chair, Undergraduate Legal Studies
students with a legal studies degree may embark upon a career not knowing which
career path to take, or they may have an initial profession in mind but are
uncertain if that is the direction they want to go.
There are, however, a
variety of options available to the legal studies student that could spark an
interest. In fact, many individuals pursue multiple career paths. This article
will look at some of the career areas found in the field.*
The area of alternative
dispute resolution includes positions such as arbitrator or mediator. An
arbitrator or mediator involve both involve being a neutral party that that assists
in confidentially helping others to resolve their disputes without going
through the litigation process. The role of an arbitrator is to attempt to help
parties reach a compromise with their situation. A mediator does not take sides
or make decisions, whereas an arbitrator often does. An individual wishing to
pursue this path needs to check with his/her state’s licensure, experience, and
education requirements. In addition, many positions require further education such as a law degree or a master's degree in conflict resolution or alternative dispute resolution (learn.org).
Another career possibility for the legal
studies graduate is that of title examiner. There is no true formal education
beyond that of high school that is required. However, legal concepts pertaining
to real property would be beneficial to someone wanting to pursue this as a
career. Title examiners confirm that there are no restrictions upon a
property’s use or that it has not gone into foreclosure, thereby affirming that
the property has clear title so that it can be sold. (work.chron.com).
who may be interested more in politics may consider pursuing a position as a
legislative assistant or lobbyist. Although a legal education would be helpful
for any of these careers, additional education in areas such as “a bachelor's
degree, usually in political science, business, social science or public
administration” is usually needed (study.com). Some of the duties of the legislative
assistant may include drafting and editing legislation, bills, and rules. A
legislative assistant will often be asked to write speeches regarding new legislation
that is being introduced, as well as to track legislation after it is
introduced along with ensuring that the legislation has the appropriate support
for it to pass (study.com).
who are passionate about specific political groups or interests may want to
look into a career as a lobbyist. If a person is interested in becoming a
lobbyist, one must usually have at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as political science, communications, economics, or public relations. Good communications skills as well as an overall knowledge of how the political
and legislative arenas function is also needed. “They must fully understand the
policy initiatives of regional, federal and international governing agencies in
order to form a proper lobbying strategy to promote the interests of the
organization they represent, and utilize their refined communications skills to
persuade legislators to vote on public policy in favor of their clients’
Graduates of legal
studies programs may be interested in pursuing other interesting positions such
as compliance and enforcement inspector, occupational and safety health worker,
or jury consultant. There are various types of compliance and enforcement
inspectors. For example, an environmental inspector in this field would be
required to do the following:
permits, licenses, applications, and records to ensure compliance with
licensing requirements. Prepare graphic reports that summarize requirements and
regulations including enforcement and chain of custody documentation. (Note how
a course in evidence learning about chain of custody regarding documents may be
beneficial in understanding this position.) This job would also require an
individual to be able to determine the nature of code violations and actions to
be taken, and issue written notices of violation; participate in enforcement
hearings as necessary, as well as prepare, organize, and maintain inspection
career as an occupational and safety health worker typically requires a bachelor’s
degree and on-the-job training. The typical duties for this position include: “Occupational
health and safety specialists analyze many types of work environments and work
procedures. Specialists inspect workplaces for adherence to regulations on
safety, health, and the environment. They also design programs to prevent
disease, or injury to workers and damage to the environment.” (www.bls.gov) A
basic legal education would be helpful with an awareness of duties and
potential liabilities in the workplace.
consultant would also be an occupation worth considering especially for those
with a legal background. Most however have a master's degree in their field,
such as a Masters in Law or even a Juris Doctorate. “A Jury Consultant helps prepare
witnesses and completes research in order to make an informed jury selection.
They are usually called upon if there is a concern that certain jurors may view
a case with favor or distaste at a level of bias.” (mastersinpsychologyguide.com)
An education in legal
studies can provide the knowledge and skills relevant to a variety of
opportunities and careers. When seeking a particular opportunity, graduates
should seek assistance from their university’s career services or former
instructors, as well as networking with contacts who work in their field of
interest. It is also exciting to know that many graduates pursue multiple legal
careers during their working lives.
Getting Into Your Dream Job With a Legal Studies Degree
Advancing In Your Career Within Legal Studies
Did you find this article interesting? If so, share it!
If you are considering a career in legal studies we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University's legal studies programs to explore our Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and our Master of Science in Legal Studies.
* Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.
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