Legal studies are a key element of making sure the justice system can function properly. It’s common to associate these roles involving the study of law with just lawyers, however, there is a complex and important system of staff and support roles that form the backbone of the legal system. Keep reading to learn more about what positions are needed and how you can pursue a satisfying job in the legal field.
What are legal studies?
Legal studies is a field that can encompass a many industries. Often, we assume a job in the legal field means a job as an attorney, but there are actually many different positions that you can do within the legal field. These jobs can range from legal support, investigative positions, and even law enforcement. If you’re looking for a career that is interesting and fulfilling, legal studies could be a right fit for you.
If you’re unsure of which sector is best suited to you, think first about what interests you and then what your career goals are. For instance, would you prefer a desk job, where your duties are more administrative, or would you prefer to be in the center of something more active?
Whichever you’d prefer, Ashworth College can help you earn the credentials needed to start your career. With online, self-paced classes, you can work as quickly or slowly as you need, any time you’d like, and from whatever location is most convenient for you.
What legal studies careers are available?
Once you’ve determined what your interests are, it’s easiest to break legal careers down into two fields: law enforcement and legal offices.
Law enforcement. Law enforcement jobs require someone with a strong sense of right and wrong, a curious mind, and a duty to the community.
Criminal justice degrees are a great place to start if you’re interested in public safety yet unsure of what exactly you’d like to do. With a criminal justice background, you can work in the government at the local, state, and federal levels or within the private sector. Depending on what your goals are, you can earn an associate
or bachelor’s degree
. Or, if you’d like to explore this career option without as large a commitment, you can also work towards an undergraduate certificate
. Many graduates go on to work as police officers, probation officers, and criminal investigators.
If you’re a curious person with great science skills, you might want to explore a career in forensic science. Playing an important role in both criminal and civil investigations, forensic scientists investigate crime scenes. Usually the first to a crime scene, they identify, collect, and analyze evidence to aid police in their work. They also go on to testify during court cases, providing expert testimony.
Private investigators (PI) provide searches in legal, financial, and personal matters. They interview individuals, conduct surveillance, and collect any evidence related to the case they’re working on. PI’s can work for individuals, businesses, and even attorneys. Some states do require licensing, so it’s important to check to see what’s needed where you live, but a career diploma is a great way to get yourself started.
If you’re working in security services, you’re working towards preventing crimes before they happen, either in the private or public sector. You’ll need to know human behavior, how to create and maintain a stable environment, as well as the differences between proactive and reactive responses. You’ll also be responsible for emergency plans and liability issues.
Similar to security services, security managers take an even deeper dive into the world of security, often handling cybercrime and homeland security issues in addition to standard public safety. Working in roles like security guards and gaming surveillance, you’ll also collaborate with law enforcement.
Legal offices. If you still have a strong sense of justice but would prefer doing work that is considered ‘behind-the-scenes’, there are plenty of choices, too.
If you want a more active role supporting attorneys, you may want to consider a career as a paralegal. You’ll draft legal documents, work directly with attorneys and clients, and coordinate with judicial staff and opposing counsel to ensure cases are running smoothly and appropriate procedure is being followed. Paralegals can work at law firms, for judges, or even within corporations. Ashworth offers an undergraduate certificate
, career diploma
, and an associate degree
to suit a variety of career goals.
This career certificate can help you specialize your legal skills specifically for civil court cases. You can begin your career working as a legal assistant having a strong foundation in discovery, court proceedings, and trials and appeals.
Real Estate Law.
Another specialization option is real estate law. You’ll work specifically with real estate attorneys concentrating on property laws, titles, and transactions.
Criminal Law and Procedure.
One of the most common types of law practiced, a background in criminal law and procedure can help you work for either defense attorneys or prosecutors. You’ll need in-depth knowledge of the U.S. criminal justice system including rights of the accused, elements of different types of crimes, and the structure of criminal trials.
Why choose a legal career?
A career in the legal field can be highly rewarding. With such a wide choice of career opportunities, you’ll also find varying salary ranges. In addition, the flexibility of career options also provides a level of job security, since individuals with legal expertise are needed in every town in every state. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs across the legal field will grow by 10 percent. But, whichever area you choose, you’ll have a job with a strong sense of purpose which helps the community at large.
Study with Ashworth
If you want to succeed in your career, you’ll need the right tools to make it happen. Ashworth College is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), so you know you’re receiving a quality education. Call an Admissions Advisor at or enroll online to start learning affordably and at your own pace.