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If you’ve always loved the idea of breaking into the legal field but can’t imagine yourself being a lawyer, there are plenty of non-lawyer career options. Lucrative careers exist in the form of paralegals, legal nurse consultants, jury consultants, litigation support professionals, mediators, and legal secretaries.
Perhaps the best known of these is the paralegal. Acting as the lawyers’ right hand, paralegals investigate cases, research laws and past judicial decisions, and help prepare for trial. They may also help draft mortgages and assist with tax documents. Assignments are generally routine but will become more varied with experience. Employers require at least the completion a community college paralegal program, so you can begin your new career in as little as two years. Legal secretaries also assist lawyers but they provide support through filing documents and keeping the office running.
Legal nurse consultants are registered nurses who analyze healthcare facts and issues associated with the legal profession. They bring to the litigation process their medical knowledge and perform tasks similar to a paralegal or legal assistant.
Jury consultants need at least a bachelor’s degree although a higher level of education is preferred. They create juror profiles and assist with selection. Their role is critical to the trial in that they can help choose jurors and shape their perceptions so that a favorable outcome may be reached.
A litigation support specialist also needs at least a bachelor’s degree as well as job experience. They support litigation efforts with technology by designing, implementing, and maintaining databases.
Jobs in the legal field are always growing faster than average, and any one is going to lead to a steady income and job security.