Field of Study Overview

Does the idea of defending a citizen in a criminal court make you excited? How about researching laws and regulations to help people start a business, create public policy or defend themselves from illegal actions? All lawyer jokes aside, Lawyers and Legal Professionals offer critical services to every day Americans.

Choosing a major in the field of Legal Professionals will allow you to study many different disciplines and use that knowledge to understand and analyze law and public policy. As you further your education, you will develop your own attitude and opinions towards law and the justice system through critical investigation. You will learn to explore various concepts through a prism of different perspectives.

Students who major in General Legal Studies frequently go to law school and become layers. However, if you are more interested in behind the scenes work you might consider majoring in or Legal Support Services. No matter what field you decide to pursue, you will learn fundamental legal concepts as well as current issues. You will take classes exploring the history of law, researching and writing for legal documents, and how to think critically.

Required Skills

A driving interest and passion in law and government will get you far in this field. You will be spending hours of time researching laws, debating their effectiveness and coming up with new solutions to problems. Learn to be a good listener so you can gain new ideas from classmates and peers. Your coursework may seem dry at times, but it will allow you to understand court rulings and legal resources.

Students who excel in this field tend to have very strong communication skills. You will need to read and write critically and clearly articulate your ideas. Engaging in discussion and staying current on the issues is also important in this field. Coursework includes a lot of reading, writing and research, so students need good time management and organization skills in order to stay ahead.

Most schools will require you to join and have an active role in the school government. Also, you should obtain an internship that deals with the legal profession either over the summer or during the school year. This will help you pick up real-life skills to prepare you for graduate school or the work force.


Most people who decide to pursue a legal professional degree will continue on to law school to become a lawyer. However, there are many careers in the legal field. These include legal secretaries, court reporters, and paralegals. You may also choose pursue a career in the political science field or public policy.

Your salary will depend largely on your career. Job growth tends to be growing about average. Graduates report an average starting salary of $36,318 with a mid-career salary of $56,307.


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Field at a Glance

  • Yearly Graduations
    (online) 2,979
    (associate) 6,915
    (bachelor) 4,604
  • Average Starting Salary
  • Average Mid-Career Salary

Explore Top Majors in this Field

Click Major to View Top CollegesPopularitySalary PotentialMajors Matcher
Legal Professions (Other) Low N/AN/A
Legal Research Low N/AN/A
Legal Support Services High Poor N/A
Non-Professional General Legal Studies Average Fair N/A

College Ranking by Field of Study

Click rankings below to view the top colleges in this field
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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