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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

In an O*NET survey, legal support majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in legal support should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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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.

legal support majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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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.

As a legal support major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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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).

Below is a list of occupations associated with legal support:

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
This major is dominated by women with about 74% of recent graduates being 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

Students from other countries are interested in Legal Support, too. 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

The median early-career salary of legal support services students with a master’s degree is $46,700 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $42,800 (25th percentile) and $50,600 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in legal support, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Legal Support majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $51,380 to $62,390 (25th to 75th percentile). 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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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some degrees associated with legal support may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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 9,147
Non-Professional General Legal Studies 3,620
Legal Professions (Other) 2,570

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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