3 Lesser Known Legal Jobs That Can Pay Well

Published October 7, 2013
Pic by victor1558.

Pic by victor1558.

If Suits is your favorite show on television you may well already be fairly well-versed in the various spectrum of legal careers. For the casual viewer, those intelligent, well-groomed, bold and cagey lawyers may be just how the world views the legal profession. That is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to the entire legal industry as a whole. Lawyers are an important part, but they cannot litigate their cases or defend their clients without the help of a litany of other workers whose positions aren’t generally as glorified as the Johnny Cochrans of the world. Not everyone can be Johnny Cochran, and neither can Johnny Cochran without his support staff. Below is a list of these support positions that are vital to any law firms success.

1. Paralegal

Paralegals support lawyers by doing various tasks that a lawyer doesn’t have time for or simply doesn’t want to do. It’s similar to any industry; the CEO of a company isn’t using his time in the best way by looking up pricing for plane tickets. A paralegal is there to do legal research, have initial meetings with clients, collect information, file papers like legal motions and other official documents, as well as do assistant type work with the lawyer. Paralegals can earn up to $100,000 per year depending on their education level, experience, and work location.

[read this post for more info on paralegal salaries: How much does a paralegal make?]

2. Forensic Accountant

Forensic accounting is a subset of accounting that is used to uncover accounting information to be used in litigation. One of the first examples of forensic accounting was the case of catching the notorious gangster Al Capone on tax evasion which put him away for life. This special style of accounting pays well, and while a forensic accounting salary is similar to a regular accountants salary, at least the work is more interesting in my opinion. Instead of just crunching numbers and doing P/L sheets, a forensic accountant is looking for tiny clues that help put together a larger puzzle in order to help solve a crime or put someone behind bars. Most accounting positions cannot claim exciting as one of their descriptive traits. Forensic accountants can!

3. Legal Secretary

A lot of people compare paralegals and legal secretaries however in reality they are very different positions. A paralegal needs to have some additional training or schooling as well as generally being required to hold at least one of the national certifications. These requirements are there because paralegals need to understand the law. Legal secretaries, on the other hand, aren’t necessarily required to understand these things. Their job scope is much more related to the more administrative tasks such as answering the phones, proof-reading memos, organizing things, taking notes, scheduling meetings, booking airline tickets, and tasks that may not require a vast understanding of the law. Legal secretaries don’t require any special training, however a degree or understanding of the law to some degree may help get a foot in the door.

These three careers are slightly less flashy than a lawyer or judge, however they are still vital to the operation of our legal system as it stands today. Without any of these three careers, the system wouldn’t function in the same way. There are, obviously, thousands more jobs like this that are all cogs on the wheel of our legal system; all helping to keep liberty and justice upheld for the masses.

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