Jobs Associated With a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies
Jobs with a Criminal Justice Degree
While students planning to attend law or graduate school may choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in legal studies, other students prefer to utilize the degree to gain immediate employment. Undergraduates can find positions with law firms, law enforcement, the government and corporations. Colleges may offer legal studies as a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree program. Some programs allow students to earn both the bachelor’s degree and a paralegal certificate at the same time.
Several career options in private law firms are associated with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies: paralegal, legal assistant and legal administrator.
Criminal justice and law enforcement careers are also associated with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies. These careers include correctional officer, police officer, investigator and detective. Educational requirements vary for these positions. Federal corrections officers, for example, must have a bachelor’s degree or three year’s related experience. While police officer positions may require only a high school diploma, candidates may be required to pass a physical fitness test or meet other qualifications.
In some states — though not all — a bachelor’s degree in legal studies can provide entry into government positions such as a magistrate judge, administrative law judge or hearing officer. Educational qualifications for these positions vary by state, with some states requiring a law degree. You must be elected or appointed to these positions, depending on the process used in your state..
You can also find corporate jobs associated with a legal studies degree, such as human resources assistant, customer service representative, analyst, and consultant. Teaching in paralegal and legal assistant programs or working as an assistant or advocate in a community non-profit corporation are also options.
Working as a private investigator is a possible career option if you hold a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement administration. Corporate and private clients hire private investigators to gather facts about a variety of matters. Private investigators may gather information about a person’s financial situation, perform pre-employment background checks, gather evidence about missing persons and investigate cyber crimes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, private investigators often work undercover and pose as other people to gather information. They need to possess a thorough understanding of local, state and federal laws. In cases where laws are unclear, private investigators must often use their best judgment.
Loss Prevention Specialist
Theft is a major concern in the retail industry, and costs companies money. The primary duties of a retail loss prevention specialist are to prevent shoplifting and the altering of price tags on merchandise. Loss prevention specialists may dress in plain clothes or in uniforms. In addition to preventing theft from patrons, loss prevention specialists also are responsible for preventing employee theft. Preventing employee theft requires specialists to pay close attention to detail. Working as a loss prevention specialist requires you to be flexible with work scheduling. Loss prevention specialists commonly work in the evenings and on weekends, and are often at work prior to the store opening and until the last person leaves.
Probation and Parole Officers
Another career option includes working as a probation or parole officer. Individuals who commit crimes are sometimes placed on probation instead of being sent to jail or prison. Probation officers serve as a point of contact for individuals on probation. Some offenders who are released from jail or prison are placed on parole, and are assigned parole officers. The primary responsibility of probation and parole officers is to help prevent offenders from committing new crimes and re-entering prison. Common duties may include discussing offender treatment options, developing a course of action for offenders to take, supervising an offender’s conduct and writing reports about an offender’s progress.
Correctional officers work in prisons and jails and oversee the activities of inmates. They are present to enforce the rules of the correctional facility. Common duties of a correctional officer include inspecting facilities, searching inmates for weapons and contraband and preventing assaults and escapes. Working as a correctional officer can be dangerous and stressful. Other duties include inspecting mail, writing reports of inmates’ activities and restraining inmates, when necessary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, correctional officers typically work eight-hour days, but work hours can include nights, weekends and holidays.