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Best Pre-Law Jobs for Students

June 7, 2024
6 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 06/07/24

Looking to gain some experience before law school? Keep reading for our list of the best pre-law jobs. 

Are you considering law school after graduation? Are you unsure what type of work experience will best prepare you for a career in law? Gaining practical pre-law experience can give you a leg up when it comes to applying to law school and securing legal employment down the road. 

We'll explore some of the best pre-law jobs for students, including roles in the legal field and beyond. From working as a paralegal to a ski instructor, there are a variety of opportunities that can help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as a future lawyer. 

So, let's dive in and discover which job might be right for you!

Best Jobs for Pre-Law Students

Besides securing a stellar GPA and LSAT score, gaining valuable work experience can be a great way to prepare for law school. But what are the best jobs for pre-law students? Truthfully, there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer, but there are several jobs worth pursuing as a pre-law student. Here are a few options you can consider before law school. 

1. Paralegal

A paralegal is to a lawyer, as a nurse is to a doctor. They are paraprofessionals who assist lawyers with tasks related to preparing case documents, interviewing clients, or fact-checking legal documents.

Be mindful that becoming a paralegal does not improve your chances of getting admitted into law school. However, it can be a worthwhile occupation for pre-law students, as you’ll learn how to interact with lawyers and gain experience working with diverse clientele. 

The national average pre-law salary for a paralegal is $55,228 per year. Here are the primary duties of a paralegal:

  • Assist lawyers in their work.
  • Attend trials with the lead counsel.
  • Research laws and regulations.
  • Draft legal documents.
  • Compile evidence for trials.
  • Present exhibits in court.
  • File appeals with the opposing legal team.
  • Specialize in areas such as criminal law, immigration law, family law, or financial law.

2. Tutor or Teaching Abroad

Teaching is a noble profession that offers a unique learning opportunity for pre-law students. As a tutor, you can pick up plenty of skills that will serve you well as a future legal professional. For example, you can fine-tune your detail-orientedness by grading assignments! 

Tutoring can also help you develop analytical and presentation skills that are crucial for lawyers, who need to be able to analyze complex information and present it clearly to clients, judges, and juries. 

Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous, teaching abroad is a fun way to work with students while traveling the world. Students can even be teaching leaders back home through well-known programs like Teach for America.

Teachers working abroad usually make between $1,500 and $3,000 a month. The exact amount can vary based on the school, the city, and your experience. Here are the main duties they perform:

  • Plan what to teach according to the school's rules.
  • Lead classes and help students understand the lessons.
  • Check how well students are doing with tests and homework.
  • Keep the classroom organized and under control.
  • Give students help and feedback to help them improve.
  • Change teaching methods to match the local ways and student needs.

3. Office Administration

Answering phones and filing documents for eight hours a day may not be the most glamorous tasks, but they are essential for maintaining effective communication and organization within an office. These tasks require attention to detail, strong management abilities, and the ability to work well under pressure, which are all valuable skills for a future lawyer. 

Office administrators usually make about $43,953 a year. The exact amount can change based on the company, where it's located, and their experience. Here are their primary duties:

  • Run daily office tasks and help other staff.
  • Answer phone calls, set up meetings, and manage emails.
  • Keep records, organize files, and maintain databases.
  • Help with budgeting and keeping track of expenses.
  • Order office supplies and keep track of what's in stock.
  • Help customers and provide support when needed.

4. Sales Representatives

Believe it or not, jobs in sales are excellent pre-law jobs! They can help you gain experience with maintaining client relations, working in a corporate environment, and collaborating under tight deadlines, which will come in handy in law school!

Sales representatives typically earn an average salary of about $76,681 per year. This amount can vary depending on the industry, the company, and their level of experience. Here are the main things they do:

  • Reach out to potential customers to introduce products or services.
  • Answer questions and provide detailed information about products.
  • Negotiate prices and terms of sales with customers.
  • Close sales and meet sales targets.
  • Maintain relationships with existing customers for repeat business.
  • Keep track of sales activities and customer interactions.

5. Legal Assistant

Other great jobs in the legal field are those that allow you to work closely with lawyers! Though it’s tempting to assume legal assistants are not identical to paralegals! Paralegals perform legal tasks on behalf of an attorney’s office, while legal assistants tackle administrative-related duties and clerical work. 

It’s common for legal assistants to schedule appointments for lawyers and their clients, answer customer inquiries, or process invoices. Pre-law students who work as legal assistants can gain experience working in a corporate environment and develop vital skills related to multitasking, project management, and customer service.

Legal assistants usually make about $53,639 a year. The exact pre-law salary for a legal assistant can vary based on the law firm or organization, location, and experience. Here are the main tasks they’re in charge of:

  • Support lawyers by organizing files and preparing legal documents.
  • Schedule meetings and manage calendars for attorneys.
  • Conduct legal research and gather relevant information.
  • Draft correspondence and legal papers like contracts and court forms.
  • Maintain records of case files and other important documents.
  • Handle communication with clients and assist in case management.

6. Retail Worker

Working in retail forces you to learn valuable soft skills related to customers. Whether you work as a cashier in a grocery store or an inventory clerk in a clothing boutique, retail will help you hone your communication skills. Typically, retail work involves working as a team, interacting with different kinds of customers, and meeting tight deadlines!

Retail workers typically earn around $35,535 a year. The exact salary can change based on the store, location, and experience.

Here are the main tasks they handle:

  • Help customers find products and provide information about items.
  • Handle cash registers and process transactions.
  • Stock shelves and maintain the sales floor's appearance.
  • Assist in setting up displays and promotional materials.
  • Manage inventory and keep track of stock levels.
  • Handle returns and exchanges from customers.

7. Roles in Start-Up Companies

Another excellent option is working for a startup company. This job can offer you a unique experience that differs from working at a larger corporation. These companies are typically smaller and require their employees to “wear different hats.” 

You’ll have the opportunity to tackle diverse tasks, learn new concepts, and work closely with your team members. By the time you get into law school, group work will be a breeze!

Start-up roles typically earn around $109,929 per year on average. However, this can vary quite a bit depending on the company's stage, the industry, and the role itself.

Here’s what people usually do in start-up roles:

  • Shape and execute business strategies to help the company grow.
  • Juggle various tasks across different areas because teams are often smaller.
  • Adapt quickly to changes as the business evolves.
  • Work with teammates to come up with new ideas and solve problems.
  • Use resources wisely to get the most out of what they have.
  • Communicate with customers and stakeholders to strengthen relationships and gather feedback.

8. Ski Instructor

Who said you needed to pursue a job in the legal field as a pre-law student? Plenty of law school students are employed in positions like bakers, engineers, dancers, and ski instructors. If you love working with different people, enjoy the outdoors, and have already gained certification, this may be an enjoyable pre-law job for you!

Ski instructors can also chase slopes in countries like Canada, France, Austria, Italy, Japan, and Switzerland. Before buckling down to study during law school, why not spend your pre-law years working and traveling abroad?

Ski instructors in the USA usually earn about $51,929 a year on average. This can change depending on the ski resort, where it is, and how experienced they are.

Here’s what ski instructors typically do:

  • Teach people of all ages how to ski.
  • Make sure everyone follows safety rules on the slopes.
  • Plan lessons and adjust how they teach to suit different learners.
  • Help students with their ski gear and make sure it’s used correctly.
  • Offer feedback and encouragement to help students improve.
  • Check the weather and snow conditions to keep skiing safe.

9. Fundraising Coordinator

Fundraising coordinators acquire valuable pre-law skills, such as customer relations, communication, and teamwork, while supporting a cause they believe in.

As a fundraising coordinator, you can work to pay the bills while raising awareness for a cause that resonates with you. There are plenty of charities and non-profit organizations in need of fundraising coordinators, from local animal shelters to well-known international charities.

Fundraising coordinators in the USA usually make around $46,822 a year on average. This amount can vary based on the organization, where it's located, and the coordinator's experience. Here’s what fundraising coordinators typically do:

  • Organize fundraising events and campaigns.
  • Build and maintain relationships with donors.
  • Create strategies to boost donations.
  • Keep track of fundraising results and prepare reports.
  • Write grant proposals and handle submissions.
  • Promote the organization's mission to encourage support.

10. Content Writer/Editor

Other jobs to consider prior to law school are those that can enhance your writing skills. You can search for roles as a content or copywriter/editor for various companies. You may even have the chance to become a copywriter or editor for a law firm, which will expose you to legal jargon and help you to become familiar with its nuances. 

Content writers/editors in the USA usually earn about $72,928 a year on average. This can vary based on the company, location, and experience. Here’s what content writers/editors typically do:

  • Write and edit articles, blogs, and other content.
  • Research topics to ensure accurate information.
  • Create content that engages and informs readers.
  • Edit content for clarity, grammar, and style.
  • Work with other team members to develop content strategies.
  • Optimize content for search engines (SEO).

11. Research Assistant

As a research assistant, you'll have the opportunity to delve into a wide range of topics and explore areas of law that pique your interest. Working closely with experienced scholars and professors, you'll gain firsthand exposure to the research process, learning how to conduct thorough investigations and analyze complex ideas.

The best pre-law schools will offer diverse opportunities to assist with research efforts at your college that can turn into paid positions!

Research assistants in the USA usually earn about $43,932 a year on average. This can change based on the institution, location, and experience. Here’s what research assistants typically do:

  • Collect and analyze data.
  • Review and summarize scientific papers.
  • Prepare reports and presentations.
  • Assist with experiments and fieldwork.
  • Maintain lab equipment and supplies.
  • Help with administrative tasks.

12. Library Assistant

You’ll likely spend a lot of time in the library as a law student, so why not get used to it and gain valuable experience along the way? You'll develop essential research and organizational skills, vital for law school and your future legal practice. 

Working in a library environment will also expose you to vast legal resources, helping you become adept at navigating databases and sources!

Library assistants in the USA typically earn about $31,991 a year on average. This can vary based on the library, its location, and the assistant's experience. Here’s what library assistants usually do:

  • Help visitors find books and materials.
  • Check books in and out at the front desk.
  • Organize and shelve returned items.
  • Assist with library events and programs.
  • Update the library's catalog and records.
  • Answer questions and provide information to visitors.

13. Data Analyst

Data analysis is not just for tech wizards! Joining this profession can do wonders for your legal career by enhancing your ability to analyze complex information, make data-driven decisions, and recognize patterns. You’ll also hone your critical thinking skills!

Data analysts in the USA usually earn about $78,104 a year. This can vary with the company, location, and experience. Here’s what data analysts typically do:

  • Collect and organize data.
  • Analyze data to find trends.
  • Create reports and visuals to show findings.
  • Work with teams to meet their data needs.
  • Ensure data accuracy.
  • Provide insights to help make business decisions.

14. Camp Counselor 

As a camp counselor, you'll refine your leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills while mentoring young campers. It's a perfect chance to work on your teamwork and interpersonal skills!

Camp counselors in the USA typically earn about $56,632 a year on average. This can change based on the camp's location, what type of camp it is, and the counselor's experience. Here’s what camp counselors usually do:

  • Lead activities like games, sports, and crafts.
  • Supervise campers to ensure their safety and health.
  • Plan daily activities and foster camper cooperation.
  • Support and guide campers through issues and challenges.
  • Teach outdoor skills and environmental care.
  • Foster a positive environment at camp.

How to Choose the Right Pre-Law Job

There is no perfect response to this question because the truth is that the best pre-law jobs for students vary greatly depending on your individual interests, needs, and aspirations. If you’re trying to choose the “right” job for you, be mindful of these considerations:

Explore an Area of Law That Is Interesting to You

Are you interested in technology or medicine? Then, explore pre-law school professions related to fields like medical devices or pharmaceuticals. Working as a paralegal is also a great choice for students interested in employment law. 

You Don’t Need a “Law-Related” Job, Per Se

As a pre-law student, it’s not a necessity to work in a job related to law to succeed in law school. Successful law school applicants come from different educational and occupational backgrounds, many with zero work experience in the legal field. 

Ultimately, students should look for a job that offers transferable skills, which can prove valuable not only in law school but also in their future endeavors.

Network, Network, and Network Some More

Networking is an important asset for many fields, and not just in law. However, making connections as a pre-law student is vital for future success. While gaining working experience before law school, find time to make genuine professional connections, whether it’s at work or at networking events.

Do Something You Enjoy!

The best jobs to pursue before law school are those that genuinely interest you! Law school graduates often recommend finding a job that aligns with their interests and provides enjoyment before embarking on the rigorous journey of law school. Also, given how expensive law school can be, it doesn’t hurt to have a job that will pay the bills!

To learn more about navigating pre-law, check out this video. 

Choosing the right pre-law job can give your law school application a real boost and prepare you for a legal career. Our Pre-Law Advising program can help you with course selection, LSAT/GRE prep, extracurricular activities, and gaining relevant experience, making you a standout candidate for your dream law school.

FAQs: Pre-Law Jobs

Do you have burning questions about jobs for pre-law students? Look no further than our answers to these frequently asked questions!

1. Does It Matter if My Pre-Law Job Is Paid or Unpaid?

Yes, it can matter whether your pre-law job is paid or unpaid. While both types of jobs can provide valuable experience, paid jobs may offer additional benefits such as financial compensation, professional development opportunities, and a stronger network of connections. 

However, ultimately the most important factor is the quality and relevance of the experience gained in the job, regardless of whether it is paid or unpaid.

2. Is It Easier to Get Into Law School With Work Experience?

Some law schools look favorably upon students with work experience. Law schools like Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law emphasize the importance of real-world work experience.

Over 90% of Northwestern’s students have at least one year of full-time work experience under their belt. Such schools believe that full-time work develops a student’s maturity and focus to complement their law school education.

However, work experience is only one part of a law school’s admission process. Ultimately, a student’s acceptance into a law school program depends on their GPA, LSAT score, recommendation letters, and personal statements.

3. Does Working at a Law Firm Help You Get Into Law School?

Working at a law firm will not necessarily help you get into law school. Law schools often accept students who come from different career paths and experiences. Personal statements and letters of recommendation also play a role in an applicant's admission to law school. 

4. Should I Work Before Law School?

If you have time to pursue work before law school, it can be very beneficial! It will provide you with valuable practical experience, enhance your skills, help you make more informed decisions about your legal career, and differentiate your law school application! 

All of these benefits combined can help you get into a more prestigious law school which will open more doors of possibility for you to work in BigLaw

Final Thoughts

The truth is, there is no cookie-cutter answer to the question: “Which are the best jobs for pre-law students?” There are many great jobs available that can provide students with valuable experience and skills for their future legal careers. 

From working as a paralegal to an office administrator, the key is to find a job that aligns with your interests and career goals. By pursuing one of these pre-law jobs, students can gain valuable experience and knowledge that will help them stand out in law school and beyond. 

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