Starting a career in law can seem insurmountable. But with so many opportunities within a law firm, it’s more achievable than many believe. With options like legal secretaries, paralegals, human resources managers, records clerks, and litigation attorneys, there are a variety of roles to choose from in the legal field.
Wegman Partners explains that every position helps the firm complete its duties — and some of them don’t require late nights and courtroom appearances. Regardless of the role, each one plays an integral part in the success of the practice’s attorneys.
That said, those wanting to practice law should complete the necessary degrees and training requirements before jumping into a firm. Once the criteria is met, hopeful law practitioners can decide which route they want to take.
Below are nine law firm positions that don’t necessarily require a law degree:
Records clerks work alongside attorneys and paralegals to ensure all files are organized, labeled, and stored correctly. Sometimes, they transport files between firms and other locations, making sure all confidentiality procedures are followed.
Candidates for this position should be detail-orientated and wonderfully organized, multi-tasking individuals to be as helpful as possible to lawyers looking to access files quickly.
Legal secretaries work with alongside attorneys to complete their clerical duties. This may involve composing emails, writing letters, calling clients, and retrieving case files and paperwork required by the lawyer they’re supporting.
Paralegals are considered an attorneys’ right-hand man (or woman).
Paralegals they utilize their knowledge of law to help attorneys prepare for hearings, trials, and other meetings.
Often, this involves researching specific state or local laws, summarizing regulations, and creating drafts of legal documents.
While accountants don’t practice law, they use their financial understandings to ensure the law firm is operating at its best monetary ability.
Their duties include balancing budgets, sorting out payroll, and alerting executives of potential overspending.
Staff attorneys collaborate with associate attorneys and firm partners to offer legal services and case advice.
While they don’t usually interact with clients, they conduct extensive research to ensure other attorneys perform their duties properly.
As far as practicing law goes, staff attorneys are one of the most integral components of a lawyer’s job.
Human Resource Manager
HR or human resource managers deal with hiring new employees and managing benefits.
On top of that, they aid current employees with concerns or questions about their positions, acting as a third party when resolving workplace issues.
Associate attorneys are lower-level lawyers. They work with the firm’s partners, offering clients legal assistance and helping other firm members (e.g., paralegals) streamline their work.
Senior Associate Attorney
With average earnings over $100,000 per year, senior associate attorneys have equal responsibilities to associates. However, their pay and rank are higher within the firm.
Some senior associates also oversee junior associates’ projects, providing assistance when required.
Litigation attorneys represent the firm’s clients during civil lawsuits.
To do this, they need to thoroughly understand trial law, as well as how to represent defendants and plaintiffs properly.