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Legal Support Services Major

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Legal Support Services

1,316 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
116 Master's Degrees Annually
#151 in Popularity
$54,500 Median Salary

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

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 6,136
Undergraduate Certificate 2,339
Basic Certificate 1,714
Bachelor’s Degree 1,336
Graduate Certificate 391
Master’s Degree 116

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to legal support 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.

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • 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.

When studying legal support, 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:

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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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • 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.

As you progress with your legal support degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • 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.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

People with a legal support degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Court Reporters 3.6% $57,150
Legal Support Workers 3.7% $58,930
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 14.6% $50,940
Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers 4.3% $47,130

1,336 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
79% Percent Women
37% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 1,316 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in legal support services in 2018, making it rank #151 in popularity. This major is dominated by women with about 79% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of legal support majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Legal Support Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 31
Black or African American 214
Hispanic or Latino 176
White 757
International Students 5
Other Races/Ethnicities 153

Geographic Diversity

Legal Support appeals to people across the globe. About 0.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Brazil
  • Venezuela
  • Japan
  • China
  • Saudi Arabia

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in legal support services made a median starting salary of $31,900 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $29,700 (25th percentile) and $37,200 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in legal support, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $51,380 to $62,390 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to legal support. 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.

Median Salary for a Legal Support Services Major  ( 51380 to 62390 )
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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 legal support require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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 support careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 15.2%
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) 20.0%
Some College Courses 12.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 31.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 20.1%
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. 1.3%

In 2017-2018, 776 schools offered a legal support 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) 248 48
Certificate (1-2 years) 345 44
Certificate (2-4 Years) 24 5
Associate’s Degree 693 144
Bachelor’s Degree 39 18
Post-Baccalaureate 248 48
Master’s Degree 17 15
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

The median salary for a legal support grad is $54,500 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 37% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $292,000 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Law 34,826
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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