Careers

Your Legal Career Starts Here

Law Firms can be found in just about every town or city in the country. However, you don’t have to be a lawyer to work for a law firm.
In recent years, over 1 million people have been employed in the legal industry throughout the nation. Most of those positions are within law firms. For those wishing to work within the legal field, there are over 100 different available jobs at law firms. Legal assistant and paralegal positions are included among these options. Other career paths within the legal field are computer support specialist, bookkeeper, operations manager, and other managerial positions.

The purpose of this article is to guide its readers through work within a law firm. In section one, you will find an overview of the legal field in general, as well as some of the occupations within it. Section two will dive more deeply into the job outlook, what employment looks like as well as expected wages for the occupation. The third and fourth sections are meant to show you the pros and cons of choosing the legal industry and what preparation for these careers looks like, respectively. Within each section, informational sources will also be provided.

Image by Iñaki del Olmo
Associates

 

Associates are typically younger attorneys who have the potential to become partners. large firm divides associates into junior and senior associates, depending on merit and experience level.

The typical lawyer works as an associate for six to nine years before ascending to partnership ranks or "making partner." When—and if—an associate makes a partner generally depends on a combination of factors, including the associate's legal acumen, his client base, and how well he fits into the firm's culture

Law Students /
Summer Interns

 

Being a law student can be very interesting especially when you learn about the different types of lawyers available. However, the theory can only teach you so much and after a certain point, you may have to gain practical insight. Therefore doing a law-related internship will be very beneficial to you as it will help you gain in-depth exposure to the field.

It is necessary that students understand the importance of law firm internships and the role it plays in the legal field. However, completing a law firm internship is not a guarantee of a job but it gives an edge to a student over another. Employers recognize the advantage of an internship, but even more importantly, the experience and confidence a student gets from it are vital. The internship can be viewed as an opportunity for a trainee to gain an overall understanding of the legal system

Paralegals

 

Paralegals have a very broad job description. In general, they are there to support lawyers in whatever tasks are needed. Many will do research, while some will write legal documents. Most will do fact-checking and correspond with the court and/or the client. Many of them will catalogue and organize documents either chronologically or by subject matter using computer software and/or some sort of document management system. They will also review the documents of the case looking for specific topics or keywords, based on the case. Paralegals will help prepare for a case to go to court by organizing the lawyer’s documents so they are easily located. They might attend trials, in some instances, to give support as needed. Depending on the needs of the particular law firm, paralegals might also have the job task of taking care of administrative duties as well, such as filing documents, scheduling meetings with clients and sending documents/correspondence to interested parties. Similar to a lawyer, many paralegals specialize in a specific area of law, i.e. bankruptcy, divorce, criminal, etc. Their duties will differ based on the type and size of the law firm..