Career Development

What Does a Legal Consultant Do?

Find out what a legal consultant does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a legal consultant.

A legal consultant is an expert in the field of law who provides advice and counsel to individuals, businesses, or other organizations. They may work directly with clients to help them understand their legal rights and obligations, or they may provide general guidance on a variety of topics related to the law.

Legal consultants typically have extensive knowledge about the laws that apply to their area of practice. This includes knowledge about relevant statutes, regulations, court cases, and other sources of law. They also commonly have experience working with clients to identify their goals and objectives, develop strategies for achieving those goals, and implement plans to achieve success.

Legal Consultant Job Duties

A legal consultant typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Drafting documents such as wills, trusts, contracts, and other legal documents
  • Reviewing and revising existing contracts to ensure they are legally binding and enforceable
  • Providing legal advice and counsel to clients, including businesses and individuals
  • Conducting legal research to locate relevant statutes, case law, regulations, and other legal materials
  • Advocating for clients in court or other legal settings, such as arbitration or mediation
  • Reviewing cases for possible settlement opportunities or negotiating settlements on behalf of clients
  • Preparing legal briefs and other written communications to the court or other parties involved in litigation
  • Drafting contracts or other legal documents for clients
  • Performing due diligence investigations to gather evidence for cases involving business transactions or other legal disputes involving business entities such as corporations or partnerships
  • Maintaining client files and other records related to ongoing cases
  • Preparing court filings or other paperwork necessary for court appearances

Legal Consultant Salary & Outlook

Legal consultants’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of law they specialize in.

  • Median Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $152,000 ($73.08/hour)

The employment of legal consultants is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for legal services will continue to increase as more companies and individuals seek legal help with issues such as intellectual property, e-commerce, and mergers and acquisitions. However, the growth in demand may be tempered by cost concerns and alternative options for legal services, such as online legal services.

Related: In-Depth Legal Consultant Salary Guide

Legal Consultant Job Requirements

A legal consultant typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most legal consultants have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field such as law, business, political science or criminal justice. Some legal consultants choose to earn a master’s degree in law or business administration to increase their earning potential and qualify for more senior positions.

Training & Experience: Most legal consultants receive on-the-job training from their employer. This training may include shadowing an experienced legal consultant or performing duties under the supervision of an experienced consultant until they are comfortable enough to work on their own.

Certifications & Licenses: Though legal consultants do not have to have a law degree, many make more money and get more job offers if they do. Some legal consultants choose to get a law degree part-time while working in a non-legal role, then pass the bar exam.

Even if you do not have a law degree, you can still become a legal consultant. You can gain the necessary skills through professional certification, a certification program or a post-J.D. law degree.

Legal Consultant Skills

Legal consultants need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Legal consultants communicate with clients, colleagues and other professionals in the legal field. They use verbal and written communication skills to explain legal processes and procedures, answer questions and provide information. They also use communication skills to collaborate with other professionals to develop legal strategies and solutions.

Research skills: Legal consultants research laws, precedents and case studies to support their arguments. They also research the background of clients and their opponents to understand the legal issues involved in a case. Legal consultants use research skills to find the most relevant information and data to support their arguments.

Critical thinking skills: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and determine the best course of action. Legal consultants use critical thinking skills to help their clients make informed decisions about their legal cases. For example, a client may come to a legal consultant with a case involving a contract dispute. The legal consultant may use critical thinking skills to analyze the contract and determine if the client’s claims are valid.

Organizational skills: Legal consultants may be responsible for managing multiple projects at once. This can require strong organizational skills to ensure you complete all of your work in a timely manner. You may also be responsible for managing client files, which requires you to keep them organized by client name, case number or topic.

Business development skills: Business development skills are the ability to create and maintain relationships with potential clients. This can include networking, marketing and advertising your services. Legal consultants may use business development skills to find clients, develop a client base and increase their income.

Legal Consultant Work Environment

Legal consultants work in a variety of settings, including law firms, government agencies, and corporations. They may also work as independent consultants. Most legal consultants work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. Many legal consultants travel to meet with clients or to attend conferences. Consultants who work for large law firms or corporations may have to travel frequently to meet with clients or to attend meetings. Legal consultants who work for government agencies may have to travel to different parts of the country to attend meetings or to testify in court.

Legal Consultant Trends

Here are three trends influencing how legal consultants work. Legal consultants will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Legal Tech

The legal industry is changing rapidly as more and more businesses turn to legal tech solutions to help them manage their legal needs. This trend is causing a growth in the demand for legal consultants who can help businesses understand the legal tech landscape and how to best utilize it.

As legal tech becomes more popular, legal consultants will need to be familiar with the different products on the market and how they work. They will also need to be able to advise businesses on how to use these products to their advantage.

More Focus on Cybersecurity

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for cybersecurity professionals will continue to grow. This means that legal consultants will need to develop expertise in this area in order to provide the best possible advice to their clients.

Legal consultants can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in cybersecurity law. This includes understanding the latest threats and how to protect against them, as well as knowing where to find the best resources for information. In addition, legal consultants should be aware of the latest developments in this field so that they can stay up-to-date with the latest laws and regulations.

A Greater Emphasis on Ethics

As business ethics becomes an increasingly important topic, legal consultants are finding new ways to apply their skills.

Legal consultants can capitalize on this trend by developing expertise in business ethics. This can include helping businesses create ethical policies, training employees on ethics, and providing guidance on how to handle ethical dilemmas.

How to Become a Legal Consultant

A career as a legal consultant can be very rewarding. It offers the opportunity to work with a variety of clients and industries, and to use your skills in many different ways. You may find that you enjoy working on cases, or you may prefer to focus on business development or marketing.

No matter which area of law you choose to specialize in, it’s important to keep up-to-date on the latest developments in the field. Read journals and attend conferences to stay informed about new case law, legislation, and technology. Network with other professionals in your field to learn from their experiences and share ideas.

Related: How to Write a Legal Consultant Resume

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career as a legal consultant. One of the best ways is to get more education and training. This will enable you to apply for more senior positions and take on more responsibility. You can also advance by becoming more involved in the legal community. This could involve joining professional organizations, volunteering for committees, and writing articles for legal publications. Another way to advance your career is to develop a specialty. This could involve focusing on a particular area of law or a particular type of client.

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