Government Jobs for Legal Studies Graduates
- Probation Officer
- Social Work
- Court Clerk
- Court Administrator
There are a multitude of options to choose from if you're pursuing legal studies jobs in government organizations. Even if you only have your associate's or bachelor's degree, there are plenty of government positions you can go into. These careers can also be a great stepping stone for high-level government positions if you plan on pursuing a master's or doctorate law degree in the future.
Probation officers are employed in the legal correctional departments that work in conjunction with local and state courts. Probation officers are responsible for performing administrative and counseling duties in assistance to defendants who have been sentenced to probation by the court. They also assist judges and other courthouse staff members by monitoring and investigating offenders for ongoing criminal activity.
Though a degree specifically in legal studies isn't required, most government departments require parole officers to have a bachelor's degree related to law or social work.
Social workers are employed by local and state government departments to assist citizens who are experiencing financial issues, health crises, or domestic trouble. They provide counseling and other services to help people find employment, remove themselves from difficult family situations, or overcome addiction and other mental health problems.
Generally, social workers are required to have a bachelor's degree in social work or a related field, such as psychology. However, government departments that provide social care also employ people who have a degree in legal studies in order to assist clients who are working to overcome past legal issues.
Paralegals assist lawyers in building legal cases and related administrative work. They are often responsible for researching relevant verdicts in past cases to support the legal arguments being put fourth in a present case. Paralegals are also generally tasked with maintaining legal files and drafting documentation for the court.
Some law firms only require their paralegals to have a certificate or associate's degree in legal studies. However, due to the prestigiousness of government departments, you'll have a better chance of becoming a paralegal in a government agency if you have a bachelor's degree. You can also use your bachelor's degree and paralegal experience to pursue a master's or doctorate law degree if you want to become a lawyer down the road.
Court clerks are responsible for keeping government courtrooms running smoothly. They directly assist judges by maintaining courthouse dockets and organizing all of the documents required to swiftly address each case on a daily basis. They are also sometimes responsible for announcing cases to the courtroom and swearing witnesses in under oath. In many cases, court clerks are only required to have an associate's degree in legal studies rather than a bachelor's.
A court administrator is essentially the manager of the courthouse. They are generally responsible for hiring lower-level employees such as clerks, cashiers, and customer service members. Court administrators are also responsible for maintaining the budget of the court, which means they often have to work directly with other local and state government agencies, including the officers of mayors and governors. As such, the court administrator is a very prestigious position. They are generally required to have at least a bachelor's degree in legal studies, as well as at least a few years of experience working in the court system.
A degree in legal studies is a great basis for pursuing a higher degree in law. However, there are also numerous legal studies jobs in government that you can hold with only an associate's or bachelor's degree.