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Legal Support Services Major

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Legal Support Services

120 Master's Degrees Annually
#228 in Popularity (Master's)
$54,500 Median Salary

The following table lists how many legal support services graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Graduate Certificate 363
Master’s Degree 120

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to legal support and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Legal Support majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to legal support:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Legal Support majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

People with a legal support degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Court Reporters 3.6% $57,150
Legal Support Workers 3.7% $58,930
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 14.6% $50,940
Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers 4.3% $47,130

120 Master's Degrees Annually
74% Percent Women
42% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 74% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of legal support majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Legal Support Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 2
Black or African American 32
Hispanic or Latino 16
White 52
International Students 3
Other Races/Ethnicities 15

Geographic Diversity

Legal Support appeals to people across the globe. About 2.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Brazil
  • Venezuela
  • Japan
  • China
  • Saudi Arabia

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that legal support services students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $46,700 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $42,800 (25th percentile) and $50,600 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a legal support degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $51,380 to $62,390 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to legal support. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Legal Support Services Major  ( 51380 to 62390 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with legal support require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for legal support careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 15.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 20.0%
Some College Courses 12.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 31.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 20.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.3%

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 714 schools offered some type of legal support services program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 241 41
Certificate (1-2 years) 332 51
Certificate (2-4 Years) 19 3
Associate’s Degree 621 117
Bachelor’s Degree 29 6
Post-Baccalaureate 241 41
Master’s Degree 5 3
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

The median salary for a legal support grad is $54,500 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 37% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $292,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to legal support.

Major Number of Grads
Law 34,727
Legal Research 8,962
Legal Professions (Other) 1,976
Non-Professional General Legal Studies 356

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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