Why Consider PreLaw Jobs
Many students considering a legal career often wonder about the types of jobs they can do before attending law school. Pre law jobs can provide valuable experience and insights into the legal field, helping individuals make an informed decision about pursuing a law degree. This article discusses various pre law jobs, including their benefits and the skills they can help you develop. We will also provide a list of specific pre law jobs to help you find the right fit for you.
So-called 'pre law jobs' are also a great way to see if you think you would like being a lawyer. While the job itself will be different than after you get a JD (probably), you will likely work close with attorneys if you have these types of jobs, so you can see if you like the problems they solve, the work they do, the hours they keep, and other important aspects of their job.
A Few Different Types of Pre Law Jobs
There are several types of pre law jobs that can help aspiring law students gain valuable experience and develop essential skills. These pre law jobs can be broadly categorized into four groups:
- Legal Support Roles: Jobs in this category typically involve providing administrative or paralegal support to attorneys. These roles offer valuable exposure to the legal environment, processes, and terminology
- Policy and Government Roles: Jobs in government and policy often involve researching and analyzing legislation or public policies. These roles provide an understanding of how laws are created and implemented, as well as the broader social and political context in which they operate.
- Nonprofit and Advocacy Roles: Jobs in this category involve working for nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups. These roles often focus on social justice issues and can provide experience in legal research, policy analysis, and public relations.
- Business and Corporate Roles: Pre law jobs in the corporate world can offer a unique perspective on the legal aspects of business operations. Roles in human resources, compliance, or contract management can provide experience in managing legal risks and understanding the regulatory landscape.
A Few Specific Pre Law Jobs to Check Out
While I discuss these jobs using the term 'pre law jobs,' each of them can be a great career. Law school is not some necessary next step after any of these jobs. Instead, if you are thinking about law school, these can be great jobs to experience law and learn a little more about what the legal field is like, and by working with lawyers you can get a sense of what they do every day to see if you would like their job.
- Paralegal: As a paralegal, you will assist attorneys with case management, legal research, and drafting documents. Being a paralegal offers a close-up view of the legal process and can help you develop strong research and writing skills. Skills that are key to being a lawyer. You can check out our comparison of Lawyers and Paralegals here.
- Legal Secretary: Legal secretaries provide administrative support to attorneys and law firms. Responsibilities include scheduling appointments, managing files, and drafting correspondence. Working as a Legal Secretary or Executive Assistant can help you develop excellent organizational skills and a solid understanding of the legal environment.
- Court Clerk: Court clerks work in courthouses, managing case files, maintaining court records, and providing support to judges. Court Clerks have a unique perspective on the judicial system and the inner workings of a courtroom.
- Legislative Assistant: Legislative assistants work for government officials, researching and analyzing proposed legislation, tracking bills, and drafting policy briefs. Being a Legislative Assistant can help you develop strong research and analytical skills, as well as an understanding of the legislative process.
- Policy Analyst: Policy analysts work for think tanks, nonprofits, or government agencies, researching and analyzing public policies and their impact on society. Policy analysts have to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as expertise in specific policy areas.
- Nonprofit Program Coordinator: Program coordinators at nonprofit organizations manage and oversee specific projects or programs related to their organization's mission. This pre law job can provide valuable experience in project management, grant writing, and community outreach.
- Human Rights Advocate: Human rights advocates work for nonprofit organizations or NGOs, focusing on social justice and human rights issues. This pre law job can help you develop strong research, advocacy, and public speaking skills, as well as a deep understanding of human rights law.
- Compliance Officer: Compliance officers work for corporations or government agencies, ensuring that organizations comply with relevant laws and regulations. This pre law job can provide experience in risk management, regulatory compliance, and corporate governance.
- Contract Administrator: Contract administrators manage and oversee contracts for businesses or government agencies. Working in contracts can help you get experience with a key component of being a lawyer, reading complex legal documents. Furthermore, you may just get a jump start on 1L Contracts class.
Why go to Law School if I do one of These Jobs and Love it?
You don't have to (says the person on the computer screen). Each of these jobs, and many others, can be just as rewarding as being an attorney. The related readings linked below give dive into why you should (or shouldn't) consider law school.
- How Much do Lawyers Make
- Law School Admissions Reddit
- Timeline for Applying to Law School
- Is Law School Worth It?
- How Do I Pay For Law School?
- Lawyer or Paralegal
- What law school should I go to practice _____ law?