Types of Degrees Legal Professions Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many legal professions graduations there were in 2017-2018 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
Legal Professions majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- 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
The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to legal professions:
- 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
Legal Professions majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- 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?
Below is a list of occupations associated with legal professions:
|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||648|
|Hispanic or Latino||745|
Students from other countries are interested in Legal Professions, too. About 1.6% 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).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a legal professions degree.
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 degrees associated with legal professions may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for legal professions careers below.
|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 the 2017-2018 academic year, 1,120 schools offered some type of legal professions program. 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)||266||48|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||360||46|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||25||5|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||61||2|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||240||8|
|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!
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||150,819|
|Public Administration & Social Service||97,063|
|Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies||72,116|
|Military Technologies & Applied Sciences||3,229|
- 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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