Law Careers You Can Pursue Without Being a Lawyer

Law Careers You Can Pursue Without Being a Lawyer

If you're hesitant to pursue a law career because of the time and expense that goes into obtaining a degree, there's something you should know. There are other ways to be in the industry, and some of them require minimal education and experience. Take a look at some other law careers and find your new passion.

Court Reporters

The average court reporter earns around $60,000 a year. They have the responsibility of making verbatim reports of the hearings and trials that take place in the courtroom. Sometimes, the court reporter uses a machine or technology to record the hearing and then write the reports. If you have this job, you can expect to attend hearings, write transcripts, edit transcripts, and play back portions for the court when requested. Many community colleges and technical schools offer associate’s degrees in court reporting.


If you want to work closely with a lawyer, you can take on a role as a paralegal. This job usually pays around $45,000 per year. You work side-by-side with a lawyer to research information for cases, organize documents, and handle administrative tasks. To start off as a paralegal, you need an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. Today, many paralegals also have bachelor’s degrees.

Court Administrator

As a court administrator, you can expect to earn around $56,500 a year. It’s the job of a court administrator to make sure everything goes smoothly in the courtroom. Typically, this job is available in a municipal, state, or federal court. Your day could involve scheduling hearings, preparing dockets, and recording trial results.

This position usually requires a high school diploma. However, you also need to be organized and have both verbal and written communication skills. Some courts require advanced degrees.

Court Interpreters

With an average salary of around $46,000 a year, a court interpreter is another option for your law career. Because interpreters either interpret sign language or foreign languages, they need to be fluent in a language other than English. You translate for the individuals who don’t speak English, who have difficulties understanding the language, or who can’t hear. Under most circumstances, court interpreters need a bachelor’s degree and fluency in their language of translation. They also need an in-depth knowledge of legal terms.

If you have a passion for the English language, you might enjoy working as a legal editor. Legal editors earn around $50,000 a year and edit articles, books, and other publications that involve legal issues. Part of your role may include doing legal research as well as editing and reviewing publications. Generally, you need some type of law background to embark on this career. However, you can also find entry-level roles if you’re resourceful and have strong editing skills.

Where to Go After Being a Lawyer

Even if you have a law degree, you might not want to be a lawyer. Fortunately, there are other careers that you could pursue in the legal niche. Here are a few:


Earning around $61,000 a year, judges interpret and apply local, state, or federal laws. They research laws, listen to lawyers during trials, and deliver verdicts based on the information they have on hand. In cases that don’t involve juries, a judge has the final say in the matter. After about five years of practicing law, you could qualify for a position as a judge.

Law Professor

Why not combine your love of teaching with law? Law professors usually earn over $120,000 a year. They educate college students about the law and its applications in the real world. On a day-to-day basis, you might give lectures, make lesson plans, tutor students, and publish research papers. Tenure requirements often include a law degree as well as experience in the courtroom. If you have published any papers, you improve your chance of employment.

Making just under $90,000 a year, a legal consultant helps companies navigate legal issues. Unlike a lawyer, a consultant doesn’t represent a client in the courtroom. They simply identify potential legal issues, ensure the company complies with current regulations, and assist with the creation of new proposals. Most companies want their legal consultants to have a law degree and several years of experience working as a lawyer.

Compliance Manager

Like a legal consultant, a compliance manager may make around $90,000 a year. Someone in this position ensures that the employer is following laws and regulations. Every so often, they perform compliance audits and present those reports to management. They also make plans for addressing compliance violations and educate employees about issues related to compliance. If this career interests you, then you should pursue a degree in law, business, or finance.

If you’re still trying to pick a career, you have a big decision to make. Getting into the legal field can seem intimidating. One of the best ways to find out if being in the industry is right for you is to test the waters. For instance, you can start out as a paralegal and then decide if you want to pursue law school. You can also become a court administrator and learn what to expect in the courtroom.

The great thing about the legal niche is the variety. If you love the legal industry, you can think about your strengths and likes. Then, you can pick a path that fits with what you want and need. For someone who has no desire to stand in a courtroom, legal consulting or compliance management could be the right path. Take some time to learn more about the industry and speak with individuals who are already in the profession. After interviewing someone about their career, you might realize that you know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life.

With a little research, you can learn whether or not being in the legal niche is ideal for you. If it’s not, you have a long list of other careers you can look into.

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