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Law Major

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$101,210 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Law Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many law graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Doctor’s Degree 34,826

What Law Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, law majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Law Majors

Law majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Law Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to law:

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  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Law Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a law student include the following:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Law Major?

People with a law 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
Law Professors 12.3% $111,140
Lawyers 8.2% $120,910

How Much Do Law Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $72,760 to $130,710 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to law. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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.

Median Salary for a Law Major  ( 72760 to 130710 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with law 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 law have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 1.2%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 7.2%
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) 1.0%
Some College Courses 2.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 0.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 6.1%
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. 5.7%
Master’s Degree 4.4%
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. 2.2%
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. 28.8%
Doctoral Degree 36.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 2.0%

Online Law Programs

In 2017-2018, 218 schools offered a law 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 218 6
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Law Worth It?

The median salary for a law grad is $101,210 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 154% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,226,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to law.

Major Number of Grads
Legal Support Services 12,032
Legal Research 9,352
Non-Professional General Legal Studies 3,279
Legal Professions (Other) 2,311

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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