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What Are The Various Types Of Legal Jobs In The USA?

| October 27, 2023

Legal jobs can be varied, lucrative, rewarding, and versatile. But where are the legal jobs? What jobs can you get with a master’s of legal studies? How to find legal jobs? Can you apply for legal assistant jobs with a JD?

As a young law grad, you must be having a million questions about legal jobs right now. We are here to answer them all. In this article, we will tell you all about the kinds of legal jobs available to you as a law graduate, a master’s holder, a research fellow, or even a diploma holder. So let us begin.

Legal jobs can be of various types. However, if the position you are interested in calls specifically for a “law degree”, you must have a JD. A JD is a Juris Doctor. It is the official name of a law degree. You get a JD after you have attended and successfully completed a law degree from an accredited law school.

In the United States, you must first get a bachelor’s degree to enroll in a law school. First, you graduate from high school and enroll in a college. After finishing off college, you will have to appear for the Law School Admissions Test, commonly called the LSAT. The LSATs majorly assess your legal and logical reasoning skills. Once you qualify for the LSATs, you can enroll in law schools of the United States.


If your LSAT scores are impeccable, you might make it to some of the most prestigious law schools in the United States. Top law firms in the US and around the world prefer Ivy League Law School for legal jobs and in-house job openings.

Please remember that you don’t always have to attend a law school in the United States. You can have a law degree from a reputed college in any country. However, to land legal jobs in the US, you may want to get a master’s or even a specialization in US law first. This will allow you to understand the workings of the US legal system.

Bar License

Some companies may prefer you to have a degree in US law for you to apply for legal jobs. If you are interested in litigation, US law is no longer just a choice. You will positively need to appear for the Bar Exam and qualify. Next, you will have to get a license to practice in that state. The Bar exam contains questions from all fields of American Law.

Not all legal jobs require you to get a law degree. You can also apply to multiple legal internship programs while having a major in political science, economics, or other humanities disciplines. It basically depends on the organization you want to work in and the kind of legal jobs or roles you want.

Law Degrees And Job Roles

There are multiple jobs that are available to a law graduate with a JD degree. We do understand, however, that in 2023, jobs will be fewer, and applicants will be tenfold. It’s no different with legal jobs. That is exactly why positions are always being filled up by the overqualified.

For example, legal jobs like that of a legal assistant. A simple law graduate is qualified to apply for the position. But one having a Master’s in Law with a specialization is more likely to take the cake.

An LLM or a Master’s is an advanced law degree. Legal jobs that have more of an academic role or a high-profile role often seek candidates who have an LLM. Sources say that the annual salary of an LLM holder is around $112,000 in the US. Whereas the average annual salary of a JD (bachelor’s in law) is around $90,500.

Practicing law as an attorney, specializing in various areas like criminal, civil, corporate, or environmental law.

A Doctor of Juridical Science is also called a Doctorate in Law. It is the highest law degree that includes research and publishing. Legal jobs that require this degree are usually of the most academic kind. Now, let’s find out job roles corresponding to the degrees.

A person who has a law degree (a JD) can first decide to practice. They can choose their areas of practice depending on the specialization that they prefer. 

A JD holder can become a corporate lawyer, family law attorney, intellectual property lawyer, environmental lawyer, or even a legal consultant.

LLM degree holders seem to be the perfect fit for a number of legal jobs. Firstly, they can choose to practice as attorneys. They can ideally choose their master’s subject as their area of practice. Some of the most lucrative spheres include international law, tax law, environmental law, and human rights law.

Both JD and LLM holders can apply to serve as in-house legal counsel for businesses, NGOs, and corporations.

An LLM or a Juris Doctor holder can opt to teach law at the university or schools. Teachers and professors earn a respectable salary, all while teaching the subject that they love best.

Another popular field that LLM or JD grads may choose is to serve as a legal consultant. They may work individually or with a firm. They can serve as a consultant to the government, to businesses, or even internationally.

Final Word

The bottom line is that if you are good at what you do and know your laws well, there are myriads of legal jobs available to you. Both the US and other countries offer a wide scope to the legal fraternity. If you are a diploma holder, you can try for internships in legal writing and legal journalism or even serve as an in-house assistant to a lawyer. Opportunities are many, only if we keep growing!

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Debkanya Bhattacharya
Debkanya Bhattacharya

Debkanya is a lawyer turned writer. With an experience of 3 years, she is your go-to source for all things law. She has a soft corner for the US and international section. When the weekend arrives, you'll find her reading up on politics, Austen, or travel blogs over a cup of coffee.


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