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Legal Advisor: Job Description and Education Requirements

Legal advisors require a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

Essential Information

Legal advisors are employed by large corporations, the government, and other organizations to provide counsel in legal matters. They must follow the same educational path as lawyers, which includes passing the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and attending law school. In addition, legal advisors must become licensed through the state in which they choose to work.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in pre-law or similar field, followed by completion of LSAT and law school degree; master's degree in law-related field may also be beneficial
Other Requirements Must pass bar exam and acquire state licensure
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*10% for all lawyers
Median Salary (2013)* $114,300 for all lawyers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Legal Advisor Job Description

Typically, legal advisors are lawyers specialized in a specific field of the law and are employed to prevent their clients from any legal implications or consequences. Individuals or organizations may seek the expertise of a legal advisor after a legal battle has already ensued for a recommendation on a plan of action. Additionally, legal advisors may be called on to mediate disputes, oversee a contract signing or advise about corporate management.

While advising clients, legal advisors must research the necessary comparable legal procedures and laws, as well as comparable cases. They must also know how to apply the law to their clients' circumstances. Generally, corporations or individuals hire legal advisors; however, government offices may also hire a legal advisor to counsel police chiefs and other law enforcement managers on the management of their staff.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), lawyers in general are projected to experience 10% job growth during the 2012-2022 decade. As of May 2013, the BLS reported that lawyers earned a median annual salary of $114,300 (www.bls.gov).

Educational Requirements of a Legal Advisor

The educational requirements for legal advisors are equal to those of lawyers and attorneys. Before attending law school, legal advisors typically earn a bachelor's degree in pre-law or a comparable discipline. After graduating, potential legal advisors are required to take and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and enroll in a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). In total, lawyers can expect to be in school for about seven years after high school. Some legal advisors may choose to go on to graduate school and receive a master's degree in a law-related discipline, such as a Master of Laws (LLM).

Legal advisors are required to have passed the bar after graduating from law school. Additionally, they must attain licensure from their state before advising on legal matters. Some states also require legal workers to pass an ethics exam prior to practicing law.

Additionally, legal advisors must hone communication and negotiation skills. Strong judgments skills are also a necessity, and legal advisors must be prepared to make ethical and moral decisions.

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