Most Lucrative Law Careers

Individuals interested in working in the legal sector will find there are many lucrative careers. Explore the key educational requirements, job duties, and outlooks for several careers.

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Career Options for Most Lucrative Law Careers

The options for well-paying law careers are not limited to just attorney positions. Other positions include law librarians and law enforcement officers. Read on to discover five well-paying careers in law.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Judges, Magistrate Judges & Magistrates $125,880 6%
Intellectual Property Attorneys $144,384 (2017)** 9% (Lawyers)
Detectives and Criminal Investigators $78,120 5%
Law Librarians $59,834 (2017)** 9% (Librarians)
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives $84,840 7%

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale

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Career Information for Most Lucrative Law Careers

Judges, Magistrate Judges & Magistrates

Judges, magistrate judges & magistrates are responsible for overseeing the judicial process in local, state, and federal courts. Local and state judges deal with cases like traffic violations and misdemeanors, while federal judges have authority over any issue in their system. Job duties may include analyzing information from documents like motions and determining if it supports the charge, applying laws to determine decisions, and creating opinions on cases. Judges will need a law degree, state licensure as a lawyer, and relevant work experience as a lawyer.

Intellectual Property Attorneys

An intellectual property attorney specializes in protecting clients' creative efforts, such as songs or a logo design, from unauthorized use. Attorneys in this field may have experience in specialties like copyrights, patents, or trademarks. This career requires a law degree and successful completion of the state bar exam. Attorneys may also need to pass the patent bar exam through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in order to be listed on their registry.

Detectives and Criminal Investigators

Detectives and criminal investigators are law enforcement officers who specialize in gathering information and evidence for criminal prosecution cases. They may either be uniformed officers or plainclothes investigators. Job duties may include interviewing witnesses or victims of crimes, analyzing records, conducting surveillance on suspects, and conducting raids. Detectives have the option to specialize in a particular type of crime, such as fraud. They may work for local, state, or federal agencies. Detectives and criminal investigators will need a high school diploma, with some positions requiring a college degree.

Law Librarians

A law librarian is a specialized field that assists professionals, such as attorneys and judges, and law students with obtaining legal resources. These librarians usually work for law school libraries or private law firms. Job responsibilities can include interviewing users to determine their needs, conducting classes for legal and public users, and evaluating specific collections areas and compiling comparative data. This career requires a master's degree in library science from an American Library Association-approved school.

First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives

First-line supervisors of police and detectives are responsible for overseeing and directing the daily activities of law enforcement officers. They can work for local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies. Job duties can involve training personnel on proper work procedures, collaborating with court personnel and other law enforcement agencies as needed, and ordering the detaining of suspects or witnesses for interview purposes. These supervisors usually need a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or public administration, as well as related work experience.

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