Types of Degrees Legal Professions Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many legal professions graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Legal Professions Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to legal professions and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Legal Professions Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in legal professions should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Skills for Legal Professions Majors
When studying legal professions, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Legal Professions Majors
Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a legal professions student include the following:
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
What Can You Do With a Legal Professions Major?
People with a legal professions degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers||3.9%||$99,850|
|Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators||11.5%||$62,270|
|Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates||5.6%||$133,920|
|Judicial Law Clerks||5.7%||$53,540|
|Legal Support Workers||3.7%||$58,930|
|Paralegals and Legal Assistants||14.6%||$50,940|
|Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers||4.3%||$47,130|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Professions?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of legal professions majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||635|
|Hispanic or Latino||827|
Students from other countries are interested in Legal Professions, too. About 2.3% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Legal Professions Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The median early-career salary of legal professions students with a bachelor’s degree is $31,900 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $29,500 (25th percentile) and $37,200 (75th percentile).
It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to legal professions.
Salaries According to BLS
Legal Professions majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $54,500 to $121,130 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Legal Professions
Some careers associated with legal professions require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to legal professions have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||0.8%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||10.2%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||8.1%|
|Some College Courses||6.3%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||12.2%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||4.0%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||1.4%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||18.0%|
Online Legal Professions Programs
In 2018-2019, 1,056 schools offered a legal professions program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||264||43|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||348||54|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||20||3|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||62||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||234||5|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||1||0|
Is a Degree in Legal Professions Worth It?
The median salary for a legal professions grad is $71,420 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 79% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $630,400 after 20 years!
Top Ranking Lists for Legal Professions
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Majors Related to Legal Professions
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to legal professions.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting||144,759|
|Public Administration & Social Service||98,535|
|Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies||71,951|
|Military Technologies & Applied Sciences||3,568|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By The wub under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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