A major in Legal Support Services provides an entrance into the exciting and complex world of law. Students will learn the skills needed to support lawyers and other professionals in the legal field.
Your concentration will determine some of your classes. If you decide you would like to be a paralegal, you will learn how to research draft, investigate, keep records, and perform other administrative functions under the supervision of the attorney. Paralegals are as essential to lawyers as nurses are to doctors. Paralegals can do almost anything a lawyer can do except to formally give a client legal advice.
A concentration in Legal Administration Assistance will prepare you to work in a legal office. You will learn about office management, but also law, legal terminology, legal research, legal software, law office procedures, appropriate record keeping, and billing.
Lastly, a Legal Reporting will prepare you to transcribe examinations, testimonies, and judicial orders in an accurate fashion. You will learn about legal terminology and transcription, as well as shorthand writing and verbatim recording.
Many of these degrees are available as Associate's, but some colleges offer them as Bachelor's too. A Bachelor's degree may make you more marketable to employers, but also is a larger investment in time and money.
For any of these concentrations, you should be interested in law and the way law works. This major prepares you for a career where you may help lawyers prepare legal materials for a hearing, trial, or corporate meetings. You will be called upon to do research and write clearly about complex issues and lawyers will use that to help make their decisions. You should also be organized and able to adapt to changes in law.
Most of the careers in this field will involve working with various types of people. Interpersonal skills will help you greatly when encountering potentially tense situations. You should be comfortable working with computers and quick to pick up on new technology. Attention to detail and accurate spelling is essential when recording court room proceedings.
Most legal support service workers find jobs as paralegals, legal administrative assistants or court reporters. The careers in the legal support service are growing. You have a good chance of getting a job after graduation, although there will be competition to get into a good firm. Previous work experience may give you the edge you need in finding a good job.
Graduates with a degree in legal support service average $34,297 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $50,662.
Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Legal Support Services might open up.