What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Studies?

A bachelor's degree in legal studies prepares you to be a paralegal, also known as a legal assistant. Keep reading to learn about a paralegal's job duties, education requirements, salary and job outlook. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Careers for Legal Studies Graduates

A Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies degree program prepares you to become a paralegal or legal assistant for a corporate legal department, private law office or government agency. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that some aspiring paralegals earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in legal studies, legal assisting or paralegal studies, while others earn degrees in a different area and then complete a post-baccalaureate paralegal training program. It is also possible to carry out strictly on-the-job training.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Certification Paralegal certification are generally not required for employment, but voluntary certification is available with some organizations.
Work Environment Most paralegals work full-time in an office setting. Occasional travel may be necessary.
Key Skills Effective communication skills, computer proficiency, strong research abilities, interpersonal skills, organizational skills
Similar Occupations Lawyers, Administrative Assistants, Claims Adjusters, Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

Job Responsibilities for Paralegals

Paralegals and legal assistants work with attorneys to complete a variety of administrative tasks, according to the BLS. Around 70% of paralegals work for law firms, and the remainder are typically employed by government agencies and in corporate legal departments. Within these organizations, paralegals may specialize in areas like litigation, criminal and civil law, corporate law, tax law and immigration law. According to the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), some common duties for paralegals include the following:

  • Conducting legal research
  • Interviewing clients
  • Drafting legal documents and correspondence

Earning Potential and Career Outlook

In May 2014, the median salary for a paralegal was $48,350 a year, according to the BLS. Job opportunities for paralegals are expected to grow 17% between 2012 and 2022, the BLS reports, with approximately 46,200 new jobs being created in that 10-year period.

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