Law is full of history, complexity, and seeming contradictions. Working in law can mean all sorts of things to different people, and you can really seek your own path in the various legal fields that are open to you. Whether you end up studying the details of the law from an academic perspective, arguing for bold changes and new interpretations, or working with the people and processes that make our system fair, you’ll be able to find your calling in the wide world of law. Here are just a few different ways to craft a rewarding career.
Find a growing legal field
The law can feel like a stuffy old thing sometimes. Often, we think of laws as being set down a long time ago and not changing all that much. We certainly don’t usually think of entire new areas of legal practice sprouting up seemingly overnight. But that does, in fact, happen.
Take legal marijuana, point out expert marijuana lawyers who specialize in helping entrepreneurs in Western states like California, Oregon, and Colorado. When California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, and when Oregon and Washington State became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use, those states effectively created an entirely new legal industry. They did not let that industry go unregulated: In addition to applying some existing laws related to businesses and smoking, these states made new rules about how marijuana could be legally marketed, where it could be legally consumed, and how much of it could be legally purchased or sold at a given time. All of this created new legal red tape, which has led to a sudden demand for marijuana lawyers.
Become a court reporter
Many paths leading to careers in law require significant time and monetary investments in long-term schooling and degree programs. But not all of them do. Some trades require skills and certifications, but not a full stint in law school or a degree in paralegal studies. Take court reporting, for instance.
In states all over the United States, including populous and important ones like Florida, court reporters are in demand. Also called stenographers, these folks have an important job, explain experts who hire Fort Lauderdale court reporters. Using a specialized machine called a stenotype, court reporters rapidly take down all of the things that are said during a legal proceeding. These court reporters are creating the vital court records that keep our justice system transparent, fair, and accountable to the press and public.
Help people who need it most
Having a law degree doesn’t mean that you’re destined to be a high-powered lawyer at some slick Manhattan firm. It can mean that, of course, but not all lawyers are interested in making the most money possible or trying to be the biggest hotshot in the room. The law is a powerful thing, and it can just as easily be used to help others as it can to help yourself.
If you want to be the kind of legal expert who helps others, you’ll find lots of opportunities. Lawyers, law students, paralegals, and others with legal training will find their talents in demand at places like the legal aid society, which strives to make legal assistance available to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it.
Become a paralegal
A law degree is just one way to get involved in the law. For those with an appetite for rigorous schooling and the financial ability to delay the beginning of their career, law school can be a great choice. For others, it might not be the best option. Paralegal studies won’t take you as long as attending law school, and your career path and responsibilities will look a bit different. Paralegals are not licensed to practice law or have their own clients, but they work with attorneys to take care of important tasks and are vital to law firms and other legal institutions.
Careers in law go beyond the typical lawyer. Consider what your passions are and find ways to combine them with your love for law.