A Legal Counsel is a professionally trained, qualified, and licensed to practice law. Their work entails providing legal guidance, advice, and representing clients in civil and criminal cases. Their clients can be individuals, businesses, or government institutions.
Regardless of the client they represent, legal counsels have an obligation to uphold the law while protecting the client's rights. A legal counsel may decide to specialize in a particular area of law or to be a general practitioner that represents clients on different matters.
The common areas of specialization are family law, criminal law, company law, intellectual property law, immigration law, employment law, among others. The exact duties of a legal counsel depend on whether the case they are handling is a civil one or a criminal one but their general objective is to minimize the legal risk associated with their client's affairs.
A legal counsel works 40 hours a week, but sometimes extra hours are necessary when they need to meet with clients or prepare for trial.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a legal counsel. For example, did you know that they make an average of $60.11 an hour? That's $125,021 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 50,100 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many legal counsels have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be a legal counsel, we found that a lot of resumes listed 33.4% of legal counsels included legal advice, while 4.8% of resumes included legal department, and 4.2% of resumes included intellectual property. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.
When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the legal counsel job title. But what industry to start with? Most legal counsels actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.
If you're interested in becoming a legal counsel, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 12.3% of legal counsels have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 25.1% of legal counsels have master's degrees. Even though most legal counsels have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a legal counsel. When we researched the most common majors for a legal counsel, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on legal counsel resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a legal counsel. In fact, many legal counsel jobs require experience in a role such as law clerk. Meanwhile, many legal counsels also have previous career experience in roles such as attorney or associate.