Career Opportunities in the Legal Industry

by Penny Cooper on September 27, 2012

The legal sector has grown into one of the most promising in terms of competition and pay. While a job in the industry requires hard work and intense study, benefits of becoming an attorney or a paralegal are huge. Students who would like to embark of a career in law must possess good reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. They must also have a high level of confidence in this line of work. The field of law encompasses a wide range of options that require the aforementioned skills and quality education. Following are a few of the most exciting career opportunities in law.


Also called a solicitor, advocate, counsellor, attorney or barrister, a lawyer is a person who holds a license in the state and can engage in law practice. He/she can also provide legal advice to clients on related matters. Clients may wish to use lawyers as both advisers and advocated on their behalf. As advocates, lawyers will represent either the party that files a lawsuit (the plaintiff), or the party that defends a lawsuit (the defendant). Lawyers have the obligation to advance the case of their client through oral debates or written documents like briefs and motions. As advisers, they will have to provide their clients with counselling on how the details of their case apply to the law.


Also called a legal assistant, a paralegal is an individual with specialised training to provide assistance to attorneys when legal services are being delivered. They work in the government, corporations, law firms and other environments where law is practised. Paralegals operate under a lawyer’s supervision. They are not legally obliged to give advice, represent their clients in a court of law, sign documents that are filed with courts or institute legal fees.

The main duty of a paralegal is to help an attorney resolve lawsuits. As a legal assistant, you will have to investigate a case’s facts, interview witnesses and clients, conduct legal research, keep files, exhibits and documents organised and manage them, draft deposition notices, pleadings, briefs, motions, discovery, subpoenas and other documents, file documents with state and federal courts and provide assistance to lawyers at hearings, mediations, arbitrations, administrative proceedings, trials and closings.

Legal secretaries

Executive assistants or legal assistants as they are also called, legal secretaries perform daily clerical tasks that are needed for effective operation of a law firm or corporation. Their duties will include filing, dictation and typing of documents. They will also have to answer phone calls on behalf of their firm or individual lawyer. Secretaries with good experience will be promoted to higher secretarial roles within the organisation or law firm.

The other duties of a legal secretary include preparing correspondence and typing out legal documents such as motions, pleadings, briefs, subpoenas and discovery documents. They will also have to maintain complex tab systems in order to keep track of the deadlines for legal filings, create spreadsheets, schedule depositions, hearings, site inspections, meetings and closings.

Penny is an expert associated with College Info, providers of Westwood College, Kaplan University and a host of other information about colleges.

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