5 Legal Jobs That Are Entry Level

  • Legal Receptionist
  • Document Coder
  • Court Reporter
  • Clerk
  • Paralegal

Entry level legal jobs are sought by most students looking to break into the legal field. Law is an exciting profession, and there are many options available besides becoming an attorney. Outlined below are five great roles that can jump-start a legal career.

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1. Legal Receptionist

These employees work as receptionists in law firms and legal offices. They are unlike other receptionists, however, because having specialized legal knowledge is preferred. They schedule appointments, answer the phone, take messages, respond to e-mails, greet clients when they come in and sometimes do filing. They may also do some legal transcription, which consists of typing up audio recordings of client interviews, attorney notes and more. Working as a legal receptionist puts someone in a good position to be promoted at a law firm, perhaps to a position such as a paralegal. It is also good legal job entry level experience for anyone looking to go on to law school.

2. Document Coder

Document coders are integral to the litigation support industry, which is growing quickly. Their role is to review legal documents and categorize them into a database for easy access during litigation. Document coders are especially important in large firms that process many documents and may have many trials going on at one time. Document coders may work for individual law firms or an external firm that processes documents for many different law firms.

3. Court Reporter

Court reporters have the important role of recording everything that is said and done in a courtroom during a trial. This includes gestures and other information that creates as complete a picture as possible. They must have accurate and fast typing skills, as well as the ability to learn shorthand. Students can become a court reporter with only some additional training after high school, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Court reporters usually must be licensed by their state or have a membership in a professional legal organization.

4. Clerk

Clerks are some of the major legal jobs that are entry level. The two most common types of clerks in law firms are mail clerks and file clerks. While many law offices are moving to digital file storage, most still have physical files in physical file cabinets. These files need to be kept straight, retrieved, maintained and put away, which is the primary role of a file clerk. Mailroom clerks process incoming and outgoing mail. This includes opening, sorting and distributing pieces of mail to relevant parties at a firm. Being either a mailroom clerk or a file clerk can demonstrate work ethic and organizational skills, which can lead to better opportunities within a firm.

5. Paralegal

Paralegals generally require more education than the other examples on this list. Students can become paralegals by obtaining an associate's degree in paralegal studies, or by completing a paralegal certificate course in addition to a bachelor's degree in another subject. There are some paralegal bachelor's degree programs as well. Paralegals hold an important place in law firms because they do much of the same work attorneys do. They interview witnesses, perform research, draft legal documents and more. They are not attorneys, however, and cannot do certain things such as give legal advice or represent clients in court. Students can become paralegals jobs to gain experience before going on to law school or they can choose to remain paralegals.

Everyone starts somewhere, no matter the field they are hoping to enter. Students looking to break into the legal field should consider these entry-level legal jobs to get their foot in the door.