Legal Researcher

Career Area: Science and Research

Occupation Group: General Research

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Legal Researcher earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $56,492

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $55,374

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Undertakes in-depth research into any aspects of the law in support of a company or individual.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina8+32.6%
Nationwide438+27.5%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Legal Researcher is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Writing: Experience expressing business messages effectively in written form. This may include planning drafting and revising as necessary.
  • Detail-Oriented: A detail oriented person is someone who pays attention to the details and can make a conscious effort to understand causes instead of just the effects, and that does this in a second nature type of way.
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Legal Research: Legal research is the process of identifying and retrieving information necessary to support legal decision-making.
  • LexisNexis: LexisNexis Group is a corporation providing computer-assisted legal research as well as business research and risk management services.
  • Westlaw: Westlaw is an online legal research service for lawyers and legal professionals in the United States and is a product of Thomson Reuters.
  • Legal Documentation: Working experience of Legal Documentation. Documentation is material that provides official information or evidence or that serves as a record.
  • Criminal Justice: Criminal justice is the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Legal Researcher that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Intellectual Property: Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the intellect for which a monopoly is assigned to designated owners by law.
  • Business Research: The definition of business research involves acquiring information and knowledge for professional or commercial purposes such as determining opportunities and goals for a business.
  • Legal Analysis: The term legal analysis is one that can be applied broadly across the entire legal spectrum, but it is basis is found in the concrete understanding that the application and use of law is based almost entirely on interpretation.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Memoranda Preparation: Memorandum of conversation (abbrev.: MEMCON) and also memorandum of a conversation and memo to the file refers to a method of contemporaneous documentation of a conversation in the form of a memorandum used by the United States federal government.
  • Legal Analysis: The term legal analysis is one that can be applied broadly across the entire legal spectrum, but it is basis is found in the concrete understanding that the application and use of law is based almost entirely on interpretation.
  • Adobe Acrobat: Adobe Acrobat is a family of application software and Web services developed by Adobe Systems to view, create, manipulate, print and manage files in Portable Document Format (PDF).
  • Intellectual Property: Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the intellect for which a monopoly is assigned to designated owners by law.
  • Collective Bargaining: Collective bargaining is a process of negotiation between employers and a group of employees aimed at agreements to regulate working salaries, working conditions, benefits, and other aspects of workers' compensation and rights.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years51%
3 to 5 years42%
6 to 8 years1%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Legal Research Assistant
  • Legal Researcher
  • Research Specialist
  • Research Assistant
  • Court Researcher Must Reside In

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