Law Careers You Can Pursue without Becoming a Lawyer

Law Careers You Can Pursue without Becoming a Lawyer

One of the most common misconceptions about law careers is that you need a law degree to pursue them. Similarly, many believe that once you become an attorney (a lawyer that has passed the Bar) that must be your one and only profession for life.

We have exciting news for you: nothing could be further from the truth. The careers in law you could follow are numerous, and many don’t require you to be a lawyer or even have a law degree. If you’ve always had a passion for justice and want to work in the legal field, but don't want to take the LSAT, consider one of the legal supporting roles that we outline in this article.

Find Administrative Law Careers

Court Administrator

Average salary: $56,562 per year

A court administrator’s main responsibility is to make sure the court operations run smoothly. In this job, you could work for federal, state, county, or municipal courts and perform both administrative and managerial tasks. Some of these include:

  • scheduling hearings
  • preparing case dockets
  • swearing in witnesses
  • overseeing judicial records
  • recording the results of trials

To become a court administrator, also known as a court clerk, you might be required to simply hold a high school diploma, depending on the specific court needs and your responsibilities. However, being highly organized and possessing excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential to landing this position.

Find court administrator jobs on Monster.

Court Interpreters

Average salary: $45,905 per year

Interpreters of sign language or foreign languages are crucial in courts when one or more of the parties involved are non-English-speaking or are unable to participate in the hearing as they should. Court interpreters ensure smooth communication and thus a fair trial. As an interpreter, you will:

  • translate speech simultaneously or consecutively
  • take notes to report exactly what was said
  • express the exact speaking style and tone of who is speaking

Being fluent in both English and at least one other foreign language is an essential requirement to become a court interpreter. The necessity for language skills is usually accompanied by a bachelor’s degree and a deep knowledge of technical and legal terminology. In some states you must also pass a written and oral court interpreter exam.

Find court interpreter jobs on Monster.

Court Reporters

Average salary: $60,380 per year

Court reporters are responsible for creating word-for-word reports of trials and hearings in the courts. You’ll do so by employing different tools and techniques. You might use a stenotype machine or “voice writing" technology: a special steno mask with microphones and voice-dampening materials into which the reporter repeats the testimonies. Here, your tasks will include:

  • attending hearings to prepare verbatim reports
  • reviewing the transcripts you took
  • reading or playing back portions of the verbatim upon request

To become a court reporter there’s no need to jump into law careers, there are programs at community colleges or technical institutes that offer associate’s degrees. According to the state you want to work in, you might also be required to obtain a license or certification from a professional association.

Find court reporter jobs on Monster.

Legal Editors

Average salary: $50,356 per year

Newspapers, professional associations, book publishers and websites all hire writers and editors who have a passion for communicating legal issues. If you want to combine your love of writing with a career in the legal sector, this could be the job for you. As a legal copy editor, you will:

  • carry out legal research and read over courts decisions
  • edit, proofread, and review legal papers and publications

Although having worked in legal careers or having some kind of a law background already is always preferred, candidates from other fields with a passion for the law along with editorial skills can succeed in this job as well.

Find legal editor jobs on Monster.

Paralegals/ Legal Assistants

Average salary: $45,193 per year

A paralegal, or legal assistant’s job is to support lawyers in their day-to-day tasks. Many lawyers start off as paralegals when beginning their law careers, but it’s a lucrative career choice in itself as well. You’ll typically perform the following:

  • conduct research and gather information on cases
  • organize documents and keep records
  • deal with correspondence and other administration duties
  • help prepare for trials, hearings, or depositions

Paralegals need at least an associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies, but more and more law firms are starting to prefer bachelor's degrees. Obtaining a paralegal certification can be extremely useful, although not mandatory if you don’t have any formal legal education.

Find paralegal jobs on Monster.

Pursuing Senior Careers in Law without Being a Lawyer

Whether you do already hold a law degree and are unsure about your next move or you’re a lawyer looking for a change or new challenge, your legal careers to choose from span far beyond that of the attorney. Here are just a few:


Average salary: $61,349 per year

Judges preside over trials and hearings to interpret and apply the law in our country’s courtrooms. You’ll handle disputes in all sorts of cases, from administrative, to civil, and criminal. Some of your duties on the bench will include:

  • researching laws, regulations, and precedents
  • listening to arguments by opposing parties
  • giving a verdict on the admissibility of evidence
  • determining the guilt or innocence of a defendant in criminal, liability or damages cases, where a jury is not present
  • deciding and delivering sentencing

Becoming a judge is considered by many as the pinnacle of a legal career. In certain cases they can earn even up to more than double of the average according to the U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics. After five to 10 years of practice, attorneys can usually qualify for judgeships in local, state, or federal courts, or hearing offices. To obtain this position you must pass a competitive exam from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and often gain support by politicians to be elected.

Find judge jobs on Monster.

Law Professor

Average salary: $123,470 per year

Law careers don’t necessarily involve working in courtrooms. Law professors educate community college and university students about the law, its principles, and applications. You’ll also dedicate yourself to research and increasing shared knowledge in the legal field. Your specific responsibilities involve:

  • preparing and delivering lectures
  • developing and designing curricula plans
  • providing tutoring and academic counseling to students
  • periodically publishing research papers in law journals and other publications

To secure a law professor tenure, requirements vary, but in general, you must have attended law school, have some applicable real-world experience and you’ll often have to have been published as well.

Find law professor jobs on Monster.

Legal Consultant

Average salary: $89,536 per year

Legal consultants provide a growing number of companies with advice and guidance on delicate legal matters. However, differently from lawyers, they don’t represent them in the courtroom. Some of the tasks you’ll perform in this role are:

  • identifying and solving complex legal and technical issues on specific projects
  • ensuring compliance with current laws
  • being the company’s representative when hiring legal assistance for litigation
  • assisting in the preparation and research of proposals to identify new issues

Lawyers with at least a few years of experience in the field can easily transition into a legal consulting role. This is one of the best law careers you can pursue if you’re looking for a less fast-paced and more stress-free position without giving up some of that legal thrill.

Find consultant jobs on Monster.

Compliance Manager

Average salary: $91,231 per year

A compliance manager, also sometimes known as a regulatory affairs specialist, guarantees that laws and regulations are observed by their employer while achieving business targets. Below are some of the specific responsibilities you’ll undertake if you pursue this career:

  • execute compliance audits periodically
  • produce compliance reports for management
  • create plans to address compliance violations
  • educate employees about the latest regulations and processes

There is no dedicated university path to become a compliance specialist. However, a background in finance, business, law, or experience as a lawyer makes you a perfect candidate for this position. Although not one of the most conventional law careers, a compliance manager role is a great option to consider if you’re a stickler for the rules and are interested in the legal field but want to avoid working in the court environment.

Find compliance manager jobs on Monster.

Explore All the Law Careers You Can Think of. They Are All on Monster!

Did we help you decide which careers in law could be for you? Now, have a look at the job openings in the legal field and get customized alerts when a new role pops up. All you have to do is set up a free profile on Monster. Upload your resume so companies and recruiters can select your profile for opportunities that are not yet published.