The field of legal research may seem out of reach, but it is a field rich in career options. For certain, legal research requires a bit more in terms of training and courses than other degree programs, given the jargon and the structure of legal documents and legal affairs. That is why some choose not to pursue a job within this field. But, it is really a very rewarding career for those who are willing to persevere in it.
This diverse industry allows graduates to find jobs within their community and through sites online to provide a variety of legal services. There are many different careers involving legal research, and you can take your pick from some of the legal research jobs outlined below:
- Law research projects – Project-based jobs are the most popular jobs for legal researchers. However, this kind of job is not that stable. You might need to hop from one job to another often since the projects usually offer only temporary work. This might not be ideal if you are building a family. But if you are really experienced at gathering information and retaining details about the different facets of law, then law research projects will be the ideal job for you.
The education required for this industry will vary depending on the employer. Some require very little education while others require a law degree. Learning more about the many law degrees may be a way to help give you an overview of what each sub-field in legal research has to offer. This will also help enrich your experience within this legal job field.
- Studying legal cases – Legal decisions of the past can often be the most important legal tool for a case. Oftentimes, lawyers who are very busy and handling a lot of cases do not really have much time to browse through tedious cases. The legwork for past cases research is usually done by a legal researcher. Studying legal cases can be very tiring, but these jobs pay really well, especially if you are working in an established firm.
This is another position that has a spectrum of requirements. Some firms choose this type of work for interns currently pursuing a degree in legal assisting or law school students. This is an excellent opportunity for those students to get real world experience working with a law firm. Other employers pay anywhere from $30,000 per year to $100,000 annually.
- Legal writing services – Another way of applying your legal research skills is through legal writing services. These menial tasks are often overlooked for their seeming lack of prestige, but legal help work is actually very stable and pays good money. It is also one of the legal research jobs that provides the most help to the public since it involves people's documents. This career is in high demand and is very hands-on, considering the numerous legal documents needed by the general public.
Legal writing services usually hire paralegals or experienced legal assistants to do this type of work. A paralegal education takes approximately two years to complete and can lead to a variety of job opportunities. Gaining a position as a legal writer may be just the job to jump-start your legal career. This position pays approximately $30,000 a year to start.
- Creating legal briefs and dispensing legal information – If you are the type who is very objective and able to make sense of pages and pages of legal documents in a friendly digest, you can opt to engage your legal research skills dispensing legal information in a way that is friendly to the layman. Non-profit organizations are usually the ones who need this kind of service, because they try to reconcile legal policies with the kind of information that ordinary people need. Due to this fact, the pay can run on the low side with a maximum yearly salary of $60,000.
This job requires you to be a graduate with a law school degree due to the nature of the work. You will be reading a lot of legalese, translating that legalese into everyday language that anyone can understand and use while also giving an opinion on the laws. Interpreting laws and giving advice about the law cannot be done by anyone but a lawyer.
- Paralegals – Also called legal assistants, these individuals are the backbone of law firms across the globe. They conduct research, gather information, and prepare legal documents as well as interview clients and witnesses. The legal researcher who chooses this career can work with any law firm big or small as well as government entities. Due to the diverse nature of this industry a paralegal can earn upwards of $60,000 per year.
Training for this career must be completed through an accredited college or university. Students take a variety of courses that teach them legal research skills, legal writing technique, and basic legal knowledge as well as training in client interaction. This degree takes a minimum of two years to complete. Additional training will further reinforce skills learned not to mention help secure job advancement.
- Law Clerks – A law clerk is a lawyer whose job it is to help judges conduct legal research and write opinions. There are some attorneys who choose not to pursue a career path in a law firm for differing reasons. When this is the case, one of the jobs and careers for these lawyers is that of law clerk. These graduates have played important roles in many of the opinions given by the most esteemed courts in the world. This job requires the attorney to conduct in-depth research into the issue to determine the correct course of action. Lawyers that choose this profession can make up to $110,000 annually.
Contrary to popular belief, legal research falls into many different categories, and you have a variety of options to choose from. Albeit demanding, legal research jobs are really financially and personally rewarding for those who have taken the time to train for this line of work.