When you imagine taking a job in the legal system, your mind probably immediately went to becoming a lawyer. Although lawyers are an important part of the legal system and the judicial process, they aren’t the only vital parts of these operations. There are dozens of jobs in the field, and tragically some of them are very overlooked.
The three careers presented below may not be as glamorous or high-powered as being a big-shot lawyer, but they are important in keeping the wheels of justice turning smoothly. Without these professions, lawyers would be overwhelmed with their work, and getting people to court would be more difficult.
Paralegals are ubiquitous in any law firm. But what are paralegals in the first place? They are people who have received an education and training in the legal system. These people work under lawyers and provide significant support to their supervisors.
Because paralegals also have extensive legal training, they’re allowed to perform many things that a lawyer can. For example, paralegals can collect information from cases, compile documents, and even perform certain legal processes. This includes putting together an exhibit for a court trial and staying in court to support a lawyer.
There are limits to what a paralegal can do. For example, they’re not supposed to give legal advice to clients and set fees for cases.
Yet another overlooked part of the court system is the service of process. You’re probably already familiar with what they do. These legal professionals seek out people who have been summoned by the judicial system and go around serving important court papers. This is a crucial step in the legal system because people must be aware they are being summoned to court to defend themselves. Not serving them court papers is unconstitutional because it is part of the due process of law.
Process servers are vital for a huge number of legal procedures. For example, landlords who plan to evict their tenants due to payment problems need to go through a process server to evict them legally. Process servers are primarily meant to inform a person that someone has filed a case against them and tell them what time they’re expected to go to court. This gives them ample time to defend themselves, as is their right.
Also known as court reporters, these are some of the most important people inside a courtroom. Stenographers notate and transcribe everything that happens during a court session. Their job is vital in providing defendants and prosecutors with unbiased and accurate records of what has happened. Despite video and audio recording devices, stenographers are still important because there are times when video equipment is forbidden in a trial and when audio recorders cannot capture action or movement.
However, the country is facing a dire shortage of court reporters because of several factors. These include an aging population about to enter retirement and that court reporters aren’t highly visible to the populace and thus unappealing.
Without these people in the court system, people would have a harder time pursuing justice. So if you’re considering a career in the legal industry, don’t discount these careers.