Legal Professions You Might Not Have Heard of and What They Do

Legal Professions You Might Not Have Heard of and What They Do

Almost everyone has heard of lawyers, judges, criminologists, and many other legal professions in mainstream media. However, there are likely many legal professions you have not heard of unless you practice or are studying law.

Perhaps you would have availed of these professionals’ services had you known about them. Or maybe you would have liked to get a job as one of them if you knew you could.

Here are a few legal professions you probably haven’t heard of.

Intellectual Property Paralegal

An intellectual property paralegal works as an assistant for an attorney. They help with patents, trademarks, copyrights, intellectual property litigation, and support the attorney with various administrative tasks. Their tasks could include handling patent documents and managing client communication.

Though a paralegal works in the legal field, they do not need a law degree. An employer usually requires instead that the applicant has taken a law-related field along with two or more years of experience. However, as they are not an attorney themselves, a paralegal must always be working under a practicing attorney. Their work is also restricted to legal research, document preparation, and the development of legal documentation.

This is a good option for those that want to work in law but do not have the option of going to law school just yet.

lawyer taking notes

Bail Bondsman

In case you are confused about how bail works, it is something like a deposit. Due to the presumption of innocence, a person facing charges is considered innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, they have the right to freedom. But they have to pay the bail.

A judge sets an appropriate bail after an arrest. If the defendant pays the bail, they may go free until their court date. As long as they show up at their court date, they get the bail money back.

However, not everyone has the money to pay the bail. This is where a bail bondsman comes in and pays their bail for them. The defendant pays the bail bondsman around 10% of the bail and gives collateral in the form of property, jewels, or other valuables.

This works as insurance for the bail bondsman. If the defendant shows up at court, they get the collateral back. The bail bondsman gets the bail payment back and keeps the 10% paid to them by the defendant. If the defendant fails to show up, the bail bondsman has the 10% paid to them and can use the collateral to make their money back.

If you are interested in becoming a bail bondsman, there are no specific educational requirements. Though this varies from state to state, a college degree is generally not required. However, it is still recommended that you go to college and take a relevant course.


A mediator, as the title suggests, helps two opposing parties reach a peaceful legal solution. Those hoping to avoid the costs, intricacies, and negative consequences of litigation might call on a mediator to settle things outside court.

Unlike a lawyer, a mediator does not represent any party. Instead, they are neutral and facilitate communication between both parties until they can reach a mutual agreement. They arrange meetings between two opposing parties, interview both sides, witnesses, and other related parties, and provide aid in resolving disputes.

Being a mediator requires superior communication and negotiations skills as they have to satisfy two opposing parties at once. It is not enough that they know the law well, they must also be to help clients meet their emotional needs.

One does not need to be a lawyer to be a mediator, though some states require that a mediator complete a required number of hours of training. Many employers will also require applicants to have a law degree or a degree in a related field. They can also be self-employed and gain experience by volunteering their services.

Court Reporter

A court reporter, also known as a court stenographer, is tasked with producing official written transcripts of legal proceedings.

They attend any event that requires a written transcript, report the speaker’s identification in addition to everything they say, read back any part of the proceedings at the judge’s request, and provide involved parties with copies of their transcription.

In order to become a court reporter, one must undergo a court reporter program. Most states also require that they meet the licensing requirements for the state they are practicing in. It can take anywhere from two to four years to learn the basic skills required to become a court reporter. A significant portion of this is used to learn how to use a steno keyboard, the specialized keyboard they use for recording whole proceedings ad verbatim.

The next time you face any legal issues, need any legal advice, or are looking to work in the legal sector, keep these professionals in mind. They might have the services you need. Or maybe one of these jobs is meant for you.

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