Lawyers represent individuals during court trials, prepare important legal documents, such as wills and trusts, and assist people with numerous other types of legal issues. They're also employed in all lines of law enforcement, criminal justice and homeland security. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DoJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection all actively recruit and employ legal professionals.
Law Careers with Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employs lawyers within its Office of General Counsel to ensure that the DHS complies with all laws and regulations, and to provide advisory services to the Secretary and chief legal officer for the DHS. They also help develop many of the policies relating to emergency response, national defense, counterterrorism, immigration and border security.
Hiring of attorneys within the DHS is decentralized. Each department within DHS recruits and hires its own attorneys. You can learn more about legal positions with the Department of Homeland Security within the Office of the General Counsel at https://www.dhs.gov/office-general-counsel
Law Careers with the Department of Defense (DOJ)
The DOJ employs attorneys with varied backgrounds, skills and education levels. In order to serve the needs of a diverse population, the DOJ seeks to hire attorneys with diverse perspectives and experience. The DOJ offers opportunities for seasoned attorneys, recent graduates, as well as current law students. Seasoned attorneys are typically hired to fill positions that require prior legal experience. The DOJ offers "The Attorney General's Honors Program" designed for recent law school graduates who want to start their legal career with the DOJ. There is a summer law intern program, as well as various legal intern opportunities, for law students looking to explore career possibilities with the DOJ. Law students who participate in an internship program with the DOJ often come back after they graduate to enroll in The Attorney General's Honors Program.
Law Careers with the FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hires a diverse array of professionals with diverse skills, training and backgrounds. It also recruits and employs some of the brightest legal minds in the nation. Legal professionals interested in working for the FBI can pursue a traditional legal path or they can apply for a position as a special agent, or for a myriad of non-agent legal support roles.
Law Careers with the CIA
The Central Inteligence Agency (CIA) employs all sorts of legal professionals - including paralegals, tax attorneys, and litigators. Legal professionals who work with the CIA will often be assigned to a rotation where they'll experience several unique positions, such as counter-terrorism specialist. Whatever the position, you can expect to be heavily involved in gathering and analyzing intelligence, or supporting those that do.
Legal Training and Degrees
Earning a bachelor's or master's degree in law from an ABA-accredited school is usually the minimum requirement for any legal position with any federal, state or local law enforcement agency. For most federal positions, a graduate level law degree (and license) is required. There are however a myriad of career opportunities for paralegals, or students with a bachelor's degree in legal studies, who are interested in fulfilling legal support roles within law enforcement.
Below is a list of accredited law degrees and legal studies programs that will help prepare you for a career in the ever evolving field of criminal justice and law enforcement.
Several reputable schools now offer law degrees and legal studies programs that can be completed entirely, or partially, online. These online degree programs are designed for working professionals and non-traditional students seeking a convenient and flexible alternative to a campus-based college degree program. Online law degrees and legal studies programs allows students to complete their degree according to their schedule, at their own pace. But don't be deceived. Online degree programs are still very demanding and require dedication.
Law Degrees and Programs