Although having a law degree will certainly help you to get a job in the legal field quickly, you actually don’t need any experience at all in order to start a career in law. First and foremost, working as a legal professional means that you have to be sharp, accurate, and focused at all times. Much of the work in the legal industry involves scrutinizing the details; from legal documents and correspondences, to reading case law and answering client questions. As long as you at least have a high school diploma and a handful of applicable skills, you can enter the legal field almost instantly. Read about the most competitive and attractive legal skills that a job seeker can have in order for you to get started on a new career.
Getting Started in the Legal Industry Quickly
The legal industry is huge as there are many different subcategories that involve issues concerning criminal law, family law, civil disputes, and more logged in courthouses daily. To land a career in the legal field quickly, you should know what unique skills you have that are most valuable to the lawyers, courthouses, and legal support services that are hiring in your area. For example, many lawyers require the services of public notaries on a regular basis. Here are some of the best services you can find online for notary publics and document certification. Becoming a notary public in your state is actually quite easy, and as soon as you become certified you can start landing paying gigs.
Improving Your Typing Speed and Accuracy
If you decide to work in the legal field as a support professional, one of the most valuable skills that you can have is fast and accurate typing skills. Hunting and pecking just won’t cut it if you are to work alongside paralegals, judges, legal secretaries, and legal administrators. First and foremost, you have to know your home row keys and you have to be able to quick correct your mistakes. Ideally, you will be able to type at least 50 words a minute without needing to look down at the keyboard. There are a number of exercises that you can use to improve your typing speed. Accuracy comes from being comfortable behind the keyboard, and the more you type, the better you will become.
Proofreading, Editing, and Legal Terminology 101
Within the legal industry, there is a class of professional that is responsible for making all of the important finishing touches. If you want to get hired, then you are going to need excellent proofreading and editing skills. You will need to have impeccable grammar and spelling skills. In addition, you will also need to have a basic background in legal terminology. A lot of legal terms are rooted in Latin, so you can always get a dictionary and start to learn about the most commonly used phrases and what they mean at your own speed. Reading books and articles related to the legal field is a good way to develop these skills. Likewise, reading over legal briefs, pleadings, petitions, motions, and transcripts can also help to give you a leg up.
Legal Transcription, Court Reporting and Scoping
Another way that job seekers can get involved in the legal field fast is by exploring the world of legal transcription, proofreading, and scoping. Legal transcriptionists listen to audio recordings of court hearings, then type down everything that they hear verbatim. Stenographers do the exact same thing, only they use special equipment to type in shorthand, which means that they can capture the record at increased speed and produce transcripts in real time. If you are not yet ready to try your hand at transcription, then you can find work as a proofreader or scopist, helping transcriptionists and stenographers to complete their assignments faster.
Secretarial and Legal Support Services
As long as you know how to dress professionally, have good phone etiquette, and have basic clerical skills, you can find work as a legal assistant or a secretary in a law firm. This type of career is great for job seekers who want an entry level position. You may stay busy all day long, but your responsibilities will be relegated to tasks that you already know how to do well. Legal secretaries and assistants are more commonly working remotely, as they can fax and email documents as well as field phone calls from their homes.
While you do need to have certain skills in order to get a job in the legal field, professionals in completely unrelated industries often can and do find work within law firms. If you are ambitious, respond well to feedback, and constantly strive to improve your skills, then a career in law might just be for you. Tighten up your resume, create custom cover letters, and practice your interview skills before transitioning to the legal industry. Every day, you will be challenged in your new career but if you want to climb the corporate ladder you will enjoy every second of it.