Jobs in the legal field are expected to grow a little faster than average between 2019 and 2029. According to the BLS, employment in legal occupations is expected to grow by five percent. It is estimated that 67,600 new legal jobs will be added over the next ten years.
The average annual salary for legal occupations in May 2020 was $84,910. That amount was a little more than double the average annual wage for all occupations.
What Types of Jobs Are Available for Legal Employment?
The job outlook for lawyers is a four percent increase by 2029, which is as fast as average. The median pay in 2020 for lawyers was $126,930 per year or $61.03 per hour. It is estimated that another 32,300 lawyers will be added to the field by 2029.
Lawyers may work in private practice, a law firm, or for a corporation. Courts and government agencies also employ lawyers. A lawyer has numerous options of practices to choose from, including personal injury, criminal law, tax, corporate, bankruptcy, real estate, and probate law.
Paralegals and Legal Assistants
The average annual salary for a paralegal in 2020 was $52,920. Paralegals work in all areas of the legal field. They work under the supervision of an attorney and perform numerous tasks to support the lawyer.
Paralegal and legal assistant job growth are estimated at ten percent by 2029, which is much faster than average. The employment outlook estimates another 35,300 paralegal or legal assistant jobs will be added to the market by 2029.
Mediators and Arbitrators
This legal profession is also growing much faster than average. The job outlook for mediators and arbitrators is eight percent grown by 2029. The average annual salary for mediators and arbitrators was $66,130 in 2020.
You can find work as a mediator or arbitrator with a bachelor’s degree and less than five years of experience in a related occupation. Arbitrators and mediators are often retired judges and lawyers.
Court reporters earned an annual salary of $61,660 per year in 2020. The job outlook is also growing much faster than average, sitting at nine percent by 2029. You can get a job as a court reporter with a postsecondary nondegree award and no previous work experience in a related occupation.
Many other jobs fall under legal occupations, such as:
- Judges and hearing officers
- Court personnel
- Judicial law clerks
- Abstractors and real estate title examiners
- Legal support workers
There may also be related jobs that individuals might explore that are outside of the legal field. Examples include insurance adjusters, Chief Financial Officer, financial advisor, legal content writer, compliance managers, and law professors.
Where Can Lawyers Find Jobs Over The Next Decade?
Law firms will probably continue to be the most readily available job market for lawyers graduating from law school. The United States government is another source of legal jobs for law school graduates. Finally, the private sector (i.e., corporations, LLCs, businesses, etc.) is another resource for jobs for lawyers.
However, lawyers are branching out and creating new opportunities. As mentioned above, there are many different jobs in which a law degree is considered an asset. If a lawyer majors in accounting in undergraduate school, he can use that knowledge to work for numerous companies as a financial and legal advisor.
The same concept is true for a lawyer who majors in finance in undergraduate school. A finance degree combined with a law degree is the perfect combination for a CFO or a general counsel.
Lawyers remain in demand. The types of jobs lawyers may seek might change by 2029. There is a saturation of lawyers in specific fields, such as workers’ compensation, personal injury, and disability benefits. Attorneys may choose to specialize in other areas of the legal market that is not as saturated.
For example, bankruptcy, tax law, patent law, and international law are just a few areas that lawyers may practice to set themselves apart from others. Of course, the lawyer may need to move to a city or region where these legal services are in demand.
Bottom Line of Legal Occupations
The outlook for legal occupations through 2029 is growing faster than average. As a result, individuals considering law school have a better than average chance of finding a good job in the legal field upon graduation. However, students may want to explore related occupations and specialized areas of law that might be growing faster over the next ten years.