The Legal Field

As an undergraduate student contemplating a career in the dynamic legal field, it may feel like your only option is to earn a Juris Doctor and become a practicing lawyer. This page will help you explore legal careers outside of attending law school or prior to attending. You will find ideas of the many opportunities there are in the legal field, both for undergraduate students and beyond Colorado College.

Roles in the legal field promise both intellectual challenge and profound societal impact. A career in the legal field opens the doors to a vast array of opportunities, where you can become a guardian of justice, a defender of rights, or a driver of legal reform. Experience in the legal field also equips you with versatile skills that are highly sought after in today's job market. Analytical thinking, problem-solving, effective communication, research prowess, and negotiation expertise are just a few of the invaluable skills that can also open doors to various other professions like politics, business, academia, and public service.

The legal profession is ever-evolving, adapting to the changing needs of society and technological advancements. It presents you with opportunities to be at the forefront of groundbreaking developments in upholding justice, advocating for the vulnerable and resolving disputes in various areas of life.

As you begin your exploration of the field of law, remember that the path ahead is demanding, but the rewards are immense. It requires dedication, perseverance, and a passion for seeking truth and advocating for what is right. So, whether you envision yourself as a courtroom litigator, a legal researcher, a policy influencer, or an advocate for social justice, the journey into a legal career promises to be an intellectually stimulating and personally fulfilling experience.


Below are some ideas of roles to explore the field of legal work outside of becoming a practicing lawyer or prior to committing to law school.

Should you decide that law school is for you, connect with the pre-law advisor in the Advising Hub early to discuss the process of applying to law school and the timelines to be aware of.


Paralegals provide essential support to lawyers and law firms by conducting legal research, drafting legal documents, organizing case files, and assisting with trial preparation. Paralegals can work in a variety of organization types, including traditional law firms, corporate legal departments, non-profit organizations, legal aid organizations, or companies like real estate, banks, and educational institutions. Some paralegal roles require additional training, license, or education to gain specialized knowledge of legal principles, whereas some states do not regulate requirements as strictly.

Legal Assistant

Legal assistants perform administrative tasks in law offices, such as managing schedules, answering phone calls, preparing documents, and maintaining client files. Sometimes the terms paralegal and legal assistant are used interchangeably, depending on the location and organization type.

Legal Intake Coordinator

A legal intake coordinator is often the first point of contact between the law firm and potential clients. Their role is essential in screening cases to ensure that the firm focuses on matters within its expertise and can provide effective legal representation. Additionally, the legal intake coordinator helps streamline the process of connecting clients with the appropriate legal professionals, improving the efficiency of the law firm's operations.

Non-Profit Roles

Non-profits often engage in policy advocacy work to promote their causes and influence legislation. Legal professionals with expertise in public policy and advocacy can play a crucial role in formulating and advancing policy initiatives. Legal professionals at non-profits may also coordinate advocacy efforts, work with attorneys inside and outside of the organization, and external stakeholders to resolve legal challenges unique to the non-profit context.

Courthouse Administrative Roles

Various clerical roles exist in courthouses, such as administrative assistants, data entry clerks, and file clerks, who help with paperwork, record-keeping, and general office tasks. For example court clerks work within court systems and help maintain records, schedule hearings, and assist judges during trials.

Legal Aid Society Roles

The Legal Aid Society is a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to individuals who cannot afford legal representation. It is one of the oldest and most well-established legal aid organizations in the United States operating in various places, primarily in major cities. Jobs at the Legal Aid Society can include legal researching and case preparation, community outreach roles, and coordination.

Government Legislative Assistant

A legislative assistant plays a crucial role in supporting lawmakers, such as members of Congress or state legislators, in their legislative functions. Their responsibilities involve conducting research, drafting legislation, analyzing bills, coordinating with constituents and interest groups, and providing general administrative support. While the role of a legislative assistant is distinct from that of a lawyer, it can provide valuable experience and skills that are relevant to a legal career.

Public Defender’s Office Roles

Working in a public defender's office can be a rewarding experience for individuals passionate about criminal justice and providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford representation. Consider roles as a legal assistant, administrative staff, or community outreach coordinator.

District Attorney's Office Roles

The District Attorney's (DA) office is a governmental agency responsible for prosecuting criminal cases on behalf of the state or county within a specific jurisdiction to uphold the law, seek justice, and protect the rights of the public. There are many legal support related roles in the DA’s office like paralegals and legal assistants. Another role relating to legal support is a victim advocate who provides resources, information, and support to crime victims and helps them be aware of their rights.


There are a variety of opportunities for undergraduates interested in the law field. Check out some of the links below to start exploring, but don’t limit your opportunities to just searching the web. Inquire at the District Attorney’s Office or the Public Defender’s Office in your area about positions; ask about options at the courthouse; talk to legal aid nonprofits; reach out to lawyers in your area to inquire about summer internships; look into student volunteer roles during the year; and check out the additional recommendations below to develop your interest.


There are many options to get involved at Colorado College and develop your career competencies. Get involved to deepen your understanding of an industry and help you decide if a job in this field is of interest to you. Planning your experience can feel daunting, so check out some industry specific ideas both on and offf campus below. As you plan, meet with the Advising Hub to discuss your major and academic interests to ensure you’re on track for your academic plans as well.

  • Consider interning with the El Paso County Courthouse in Colorado Springs through the Colorado College Justice Corps. Reach out to the Pre-Law Advisor to learn more (contact information at the bottom of this page).
  • Participate in an opportunity through Competitive Communications at Colorado College such as Mock Trial, Speech and Debate, and Model UN.
  • Join a club on campus that will help develop your skills and interest in social justice and legal issues. Some recommended clubs include Law Society, CC Prison Abolition Project, Colorado College Democrats, Colorado College Injustice Watch, Colorado College Refugee Alliance, EnAct, and the Student Title IX Assistance and Resource Team.
  • Join the Colorado College Student Government Association. No matter your level of involvement or role title, getting involved in your community’s governing system will provide opportunities for professional development.
  • Check out the Wellness Resource Center for student employment opportunities and student organizations related to advocacy.
  • Law school does not require a specific major, however some typical majors for those interested in law include political science, philosophy, history, English, and majors in the environmental program. Pursue a major that supports your interests.
  • Regardless of what you major in, ensure you maintain a strong academic record. Your grades will be very important if you choose to apply to law school.
  • If you are considering applying for Law School, be sure to meet with the pre-law advisor in the Advising Hub early to discuss the process of applying to law school and the timelines to be aware of.
  • Utilize LinkedIn and Tigerlink to find professionals practicing in the legal field that are Colorado College alumni. Use terms like attorney, paralegal, legal, or court to see what results there are.
  • Summer internships are crucial to develop skills during your undergraduate career. While you may not be able to practice law or legal work right away, being involved in the legal field as an office assistant or student intern can be greatly beneficial.
  • Apply for the Career Center’s Public Interest Fellowship Program and complete a paid summer internship or year-long fellowship in the non-profit sector in Colorado.
  • Apply for a Keller Family Venture Grant and propose a project related to your law interests.

show all / hide all

Questions? Reach out!

Gretchen Wardell (she/her)
Student Success Specialist, Pre-Law Advising
Advising Hub, 1014 N. Weber St.
Report an issue - Last updated: 09/28/2023