Legal Profession Job Titles and Descriptions
Court Positions, Contracts, Mediation and More
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports in its Occupational Outlook Handbook that competition for jobs in the legal field will remain strong as more students graduate from law school than there are jobs available. However, BLS also projects that employment of lawyers will grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, with 65,000 new jobs created.
Other jobs within the legal field are also growing. The BLS projects employment of paralegals and legal assistants to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is must faster than average. Mediator and conciliator jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 10 percent during the same time frame.
Demand for people in the lawyers is expected to rise in upcoming years. The salary for people in the legal industry, from paralegals to lawyers to court reports, is an average of $80,000 per year according to the BLS.
Legal Industry Jobs
When you think of the legal industry, it's probably judges and lawyers that pop into your head. But there are far more roles available in the industry than those. There are many people involved in the court system, for instance, from advocates to clerks to transcriptionists.
Here's a list of positions in the legal industry along with some job descriptions.
- Arbitrator: If both parties agree, an arbitrator can help settle a legal disagreement instead of going through the court system.
- Attorney: Also known as a lawyers, attorneys are advocates for their clients' rights. It can involve everything from offering advice to creating or reviewing contracts to representing clients in court.
- Case Manager
- Jury Consultant: Jury consultants, also known as trial consultants, help lawyers choose a jury likely to return a verdict in their favor. They also prep witnesses, evaluate deposition transcripts and organize mock trials.
- Law Firm Administrator: The person in this role oversees day-to-day operations for a firm.
- Legal Analyst
- Legal Services Director
- Paralegal: The American Association for Paralegal Education defines a paralegal work as substantive and procedural legal work which would otherwise be performed by an attorney. In other words, a paralegal is far more than a lawyer's assistant. Their work includes legal research and presentations, interviewing clients, drafting legal documents, and law office administration.
- Administrative Assistant
- Copy Center Professional
- Document Coder
- File Clerk
- Legal Aide/Assistant
- Legal Secretary
- Mailroom Personnel
- Legal Records Manager
- Bailiff: Bailiffs are officers of the court, responsible for keeping the courtroom safe. They escort people, including jurors and defendants, to and from the courtroom.
- Court Advocate: A court advocate, or victim's advocate, is trained to support crime victims. They provide the victim with information, emotional support, help locating resources such as social service agencies, completing paperwork, and sometimes go to court with them. Some victim's advocates run crisis hotlines and support groups or provide counseling.
- Court Messenger: As you might expect, people in this role are responsible for getting files, documents, and evidence where it needs to go.
- Court Reporter: You have these professionals to thank for transcripts of various legal proceedings.
- Court Representative
- Court Transcriptionist: A court transcriptionist listens to oral testimony and turns it into an accurate written record. Court transcriptionists are usually stenographers who use a special machine to produce a transcript of the proceedings. However, they may also use a voice recorder which is a special mask allowing for narration into a computer which uses speech recognition software to create a transcript.
- Litigation Docket Manager: A litigation docket manager manages an organization's litigation docket file and records and makes sure the calendar is regularly updated. He may also oversee the docketing database or train staff to manage it.
- Litigation Support Director
- Trial Consultant
- Contract Administrator
- Contract Analyst
- Contract Drafting Legal Specialist
- Mediator: Unlike a lawyer, a mediator is a neutral third party and doesn't represent any one person involved in a legal matter. Mediators are non-biased negotiators for all parties involved in the dispute, and they work to resolve everyone's issues and come to a mutual understanding and agreement without a judge or jury. They can work in legal administration, labor unions, and the arts, for instance. They can also specialize in a particular area, like divorce mediation.
- Conflict Resolution Specialist
- Regulatory Affairs Director
- Right of Way Agent
- Software Consultant