If you’re dreaming about careers in law, there is a wide variety of law firm jobs today on the market, even for people who don’t have a direct connection to this branch.
The law is omnipresent in our everyday life. The first thing that usually comes to mind about the law is courtrooms and lawyers defending their clients in legal cases. However, there is much more about the law than meets the eye. Starting a new company, drafting a contract, and even transferring money or property are just a few examples of a law firm’s assistance.
People with different levels of expertise perform different tasks in law firms, including bookkeeping, IT experts, operations managers, etc. They all work together in various law office jobs to ensure the firm runs smoothly. All of these vital team members working together toward the same goal is a recipe for success in any law firm.
- General Manager
- Computer Expert
- Record Clerk
- Support Staff
Legal Jobs Outlook & Employment
If you’re currently browsing “law firm jobs near me,” you might notice that there are many positions available at the moment. The popularity and resulting availability of jobs in the legal industry were less than ideal in the early 2000s. However, projections show that the industry will continue to grow throughout 2022, with more than 90,000 positions.
As expected, the largest occupation within the legal industry is lawyers. Coming in at a close second are legal secretaries, legal assistants, and paralegals. While a smaller portion of people opts to seek out administrative, business, and management positions, most people chose to work at previously mentioned jobs. Law firm recruiting jobs should rise as well.
Interestingly, there is a noticeable decrease in the employment of legal secretaries. In turn, attorneys and paralegals find themselves picking up several legal secretaries’ duties. Projections also reveal that paralegal and legal assistant positions should experience a significantly higher than average increase in jobs at law firm employment.
Why are law firms hiring more paralegals and legal assistants, you may ask? The answer lies in increasing efficiency and decreasing costs by taking on tasks previously handled by lawyers.
Additionally, projections also show that an average increase in employment awaits bookkeepers, lawyers, accountants, and general managers, depending on the growth of the legal industry. Legal firms hiring more professionals for such positions have to do with clients’ high demands in terms of efficiency of the law firms.
An In-Depth Look Into Popular Law Firm Jobs
Law firm positions do not strictly focus on lawyers, but they are the heart of the business. However, lawyers are much more than well-dressed people making a final statement in a court.
For the most part, lawyers spend their time outside of courtrooms, preparing and checking different documentation and advising their clients, making it one of the busiest law firm jobs. This documentation typically includes all kinds of legal papers prepared under various legal requirements.
Other job responsibilities include preparing and giving legal advice, supervising, and drafting documents such as wills, deeds, and contracts, and providing legal representation in courts over a variety of matters.
Much like other, different positions in a law firm, the perfect attorney candidate needs to be analytical and observing and always up to date with the latest laws, rules, and regulations. The reason for continuously staying up-to-date is so they can give accurate and relevant advice to their clients. Problem-solving and excellent communication skills are a must, as well. To top everything off, being persuasive and self-confident is what makes an attorney stand out.
When looking to work for a law firm, keep in mind that deadlines and the ability to work under pressure are of extreme importance. Such qualities can make you stand out as a potential candidate. Additionally, being able to make an excellent presentation, both written and oral, are also valuable, as lawyers need to possess stellar interpersonal and presentation skills.
The path to becoming a law firm lawyer may differ depending on the country and the legal system. Regardless, it usually takes several years of formal education and practice before a person can work independently. Internships in law firms are a big plus and an excellent chance for young graduates to learn more about the job. Part-time law firm jobs can also be beneficial in this regard.
Although lawyers are typically very independent in their work, they need to have a sense of team spirit. Working as part of a team usually includes managing paralegals and other assistants. Being able to guide and coach such subordinates is of great value to have as an attorney.
When it comes to salary expectations, attorneys can make anywhere between $80,000 to $180,000 per year, depending on their level of expertise and years of practice. The average salary lawyers earn is around $120,000 per year, which is typically above average in most countries. The good news is that salaries are negotiable, and in some companies, you can get extra commission from completing various projects or winning a big case in court.
Working at a law firm as an assistant means you’ll likely find employment as a paralegal. Paralegals, also known as legal secretaries, have the task of supporting lawyers in their everyday activities. The typical job tasks paralegals perform daily include drafting and preparing documents, contacting clients, and assisting attorneys in other legal duties.
Working at a law firm as a paralegal requires that you be very organized and ready to excel in a fast-paced environment where many things happen simultaneously. In other words, you need to be very good at multitasking. During your time as a paralegal, you will get valuable insight into various other law firm careers you’ll have the option of switching to later.
Paralegals’ duties may vary from one company to another, depending on the specific company’s area of specialization. The type of tasks assigned to such a law firm assistant depends on the size of the company in question and the person’s level of expertise.
However, one thing in common for all paralegals pertains to what they cannot do. Paralegals cannot give legal advice or represent people and companies in court.
Most jobs in law offices tend to offer a decent salary. Paralegals’ earnings vary depending on several factors, but their wages are based mostly on previous experience and education. On average, these legal professionals can earn up to $50,000 per year, with the possibility of earning additional income if they’re more deeply involved in commission-based projects.
When it comes to careers in law without being a lawyer, becoming a record clerk is at the top of the list. The best thing about opting to become a record clerk is that this position requires absolutely no law-related type of education. It means that even people without a degree in law can aim for engaging and respectable law firm jobs.
Record clerks are usually in charge of organizing and maintaining all types of records and have many different duties in the firm. Examples of such assignments include copying, ordering supplies, and being assistive to their superiors.
A high-school diploma is sufficient to make you eligible for any such law firm jobs for non-lawyers. Besides this formal requirement, you’ll need to have some soft skills, for instance, to communicate effectively and be good at organizing.
NOTE: If you’re having second thoughts about the validity or importance of this position in comparison to any of the other jobs on this list, stop. Record clerks hold a vital role in law firms since lawyers and other managers rely on their organizational prowess. Remember that record clerks are a prime example of crucial jobs in a law firm without a law degree. Without them, attorneys and other legal professionals would not be able to do their jobs.
Having a degree in accounting can give you numerous opportunities to grow as a person and build a career in a multitude of organizations. Every company needs someone responsible, organized, and always up-to-date on current methods and regulations. Law firms and law firm accounting jobs are no exception.
Bookkeeping in a law firm can have specific challenges related to the type of services the firm specializes in providing. These unique challenges typically make it essential to have previous experience in this field if you’re looking for employment in this position.
Law firm management usually prefers those with strong analytical and organizational skills and attention to detail for the position of a bookkeeper. Besides these soft skills, you also need to hold a high-school diploma in bookkeeping or, ideally, a degree in accounting for more prominent firms with more complicated systems.
An average-sized law firm would usually offer a yearly salary of approximately $50,000. Conversely, you may expect a higher salary range as a result of more demanding finance jobs in law firms.
Being an IT expert means you can find a job in virtually any industry. From IT companies to retail and service-oriented companies, you can even seek out law office employment nowadays. The IT industry has been on the rise in the past decade and, now more than ever, every company must have competent IT experts.
Law firm IT jobs mostly involve maintaining information systems and detecting any issues quickly and without any disturbance. It may not seem like it, but the law is a fast-paced industry where speed and problem-solving are essential, mainly when a system error occurs.
If you’re in IT or are attending IT classes or courses, such an environment may prove ideal if you happen to be looking for law firm jobs for college students or even law firm jobs part-time.
As a computer expert in a law firm, you will be in charge of ensuring that the system is working correctly daily. Among other duties, you’ll typically maintain the server and occasionally solve any ad hoc issues that may arise.
The first thing that usually comes to people’s minds upon hearing about jobs in a law firm is the image of lawyers. In small companies, being a lawyer typically also means doing several tasks at once – performing the duties of a paralegal, clerk, office manager, etc. In companies with many employees and many lawyers, there must be a person managing all these people and other departments.
As far as law office careers go, the general manager of a law firm is in charge of all departments and resources. One of the most critical resources in any company is the people.
General managers work closely with the HR department to measure their employees’ performance so that they can establish effective (de)stimulants. Also, they recognize the need to hire more people and define the optimum number of people working in every department.
Law firm manager jobs are not strictly bound to finance experts. Another significant aspect general managers have to pay attention to is cash flow and revenue. These professionals are responsible for results at the end of the year, and generating profit is one of their main ongoing concerns.
Having successful results in representing their clients in various legal matters can attract more customers, and thus, increase revenue. Besides income, general managers have to pay attention to the firm’s expenses — where it spends the most and how to reduce expenditures.
To perform the duty of a general manager, a person needs to have years of experience in managing small and large teams. Education-wise, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in economics or business management.
Law firm job openings rarely include the position of a general manager, but it’s not impossible. A general manager’s salary can vary and depends on numerous factors; it is usually individually determined.
Last but not least, every law firm needs to have support staff. These are people who make sure everything is in place, from legal files and documents to paperwork and office supplies. Additionally, support staff can also serve to assist with the grunt work in legal cases, be it through law firm assistant jobs or even law firm marketing jobs. Although every employee should perform their tasks on their own, support staff is there to lend a helping hand whenever necessary.
When considering entry-level law firm jobs, you shouldn’t shy away from a support staff position as it allows you to make contacts, at the very least. On the other hand, when you work at a law firm as support staff, you can gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of all other law-related jobs from a different perspective.
One of the essential things that everyone working in a law firm has in common is overcoming challenges and making an impact. Whether you’re considering law firm administrator jobs, law firm business development jobs, or law firm investigator jobs, the law can bring you many exciting challenges. More importantly, learning to adapt and overcome such challenges can inspire you to change and adopt a winning attitude.
The reason law firm jobs are so popular nowadays is that the law touches our everyday lives in countless ways. For a successful, improvement-striving individual, it is the perfect environment for self-growth. In a law firm, you’ll be able to shape your skills and test your limits.
Furthermore, thinking outside the box will take you a long way up the organizational ladder in the law. One thing is sure — you won’t make a mistake with jobs at law firm because the law will always be a nurturing environment for those willing to work hard and learn new things.