14 Careers To Pursue With Psychology and Law Degrees
Updated March 10, 2023
Psychology and law have several key similarities and often appear together in professional settings. When earning a degree, those studying psychology often learn some law principles and those studying law often learn some psychology. If both fields interest you, you can study them together and pursue a career that uses both psychology and law. In this article, we discuss the degrees you can earn, the benefits of a dual degree and different psychology and law careers available.
What is a psychology and law degree?
A psychology and law degree is what a student earns by studying both psychology and law at the collegiate level. This happens at either the undergraduate or graduate level, following a double major or dual degree track. Many students pursue the dual degree option, as more educational institutions offer the dual degree at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
At the undergraduate level, a student earns a bachelor's degree in psychology and completes all the requirements for law school. At the graduate level, which is often necessary for both psychology and law career fields, the student earns a master's degree in both psychology and law or pursues either an MD or PhD for psychology and a Juris Doctorate (JD) for law.
Benefits of earning a dual degree
Dual degree programs give the student two complimentary degrees by allowing the student to study both common and specialized classes for each degree at the same time. Dual degrees have a few benefits over singular degrees or double major degrees. These include broadening the student's education, giving the student more credentials and expanding the student's employment opportunities.
By studying two fields simultaneously, the student learns about each field and how they overlap and interact with each other. This gives the student a different perspective on each field. The student can use the credentials they earn to pursue careers in either of their fields of study separately or they can combine both fields and pursue a more specialized career.
Jobs that use a psychology and law degree
Here's a list of 14 jobs that use both law and psychology degrees. For the most up-to-date salaries, please click on the links below:
National average salary: $35,685 per year
Primary duties: A bailiff is a security professional who works in courtrooms and ensures the safety of those in the courtroom. Bailiffs also maintains order inside a courtroom. A bailiff's primary duties include preparing the courtroom for proceedings, screening those who enter the courtroom, taking charge of the jury during deliberations, answering jury questions, assisting the judge and serving civil and criminal documents.
National average salary: $41,790 per year
Primary duties: A victim advocate supports those who have experienced unjust circumstances. Victim advocates work with victims and help them with legal and administrative issues. The primary duties for this role can vary widely, but some common duties include creating safe environments for victims to talk about their experiences, discerning victims' requirements, outlining the resources and actions available, assisting a victim with legal proceedings like hearings, representing the victim and tracking the outcomes of cases.
National average salary: $44,080 per year
Primary duties: A probation officer works with those who have broken the law and ensures they meet the judge's requirements during the probationary period. Their primary duties include meeting probationers in various settings to discuss progression, scheduling appointments or interviews for probationers as necessary, meeting with relevant legal and personal parties to discuss probationers' progress, filing legal reports on probationers' compliance and suggesting amendments to probation requirements if necessary.
Read more: Learn About Being a Probation Officer
4. Law clerk
National average salary: $55,323 per year
Primary duties: Law clerks, or judicial clerks, assist judges and legal teams when they make legal decisions. A law clerk may work in a courtroom or law office setting. The primary responsibilities for this role include researching legal precedents and laws when guiding a decision, advising the judge about case facts, taking statements from witnesses and managing evidence as necessary, drafting legal documents like trial briefs and delivering subpoenas.
Read more: Learn About Being a Law Clerk
National average salary: $56,036 per year
Primary duties: Social workers help individuals and families through challenging circumstances. A social worker's primary duties include meeting with patients and evaluating their requirements based on the current situation, creating and implementing care plans with medical or therapeutic support as necessary, communicating with patients, helping patients work toward goals, collaborating with medical professionals for patient care and adhering to policies and regulations.
Read more: Learn About Being a Social Worker
National average salary: $56,806 per year
Primary duties: A jury consultant is a behavioral professional who helps with court cases by researching jurors and giving insight about juror behavior. Jury consultants have responsibilities before and during a trial. Some of these responsibilities include creating juror profiles by researching their backgrounds, assisting with jury selection, conducting pretrial research, gathering and analyzing demographic data, drafting reports, coaching witnesses before questioning and helping lawyers identify arguments and strategies.
National average salary: $63,541 per year
Primary duties: Addiction counselors, or substance abuse counselors, are mental health professionals who assist those facing addiction. Addiction counselors help with substance and behavioral addictions. The primary responsibilities for this role include evaluating patients' mental and physical behaviors, developing treatment and recovery plans, identifying behaviors that interfere with treatment, managing all case aspects from entry to discharge, facilitating therapy sessions, monitoring patients' progress over time, collaborating with medical and legal professionals and assisting caregivers in managing addiction related behavior.
National average salary: $73,435 per year
Primary duties: Lawyers advocate for clients in civil and criminal court cases. Lawyers often specialize in one field, like entertainment or personal injury. Common responsibilities for this role include interpreting laws and rulings for clients, attending hearings and legal meetings with clients, scheduling and administering depositions of witnesses and experts, preparing legal documents for clients and working with other legal and law enforcement professionals when preparing cases for trial or mediation.
Read more: Learn About Being a Lawyer
National average salary: $77,646 per year
Primary duties: A judge is a legal professional who decides the outcomes of criminal and civil cases. Judges work at either a local or federal level. Some of the common responsibilities of a judge include interpreting and applying laws or precedents when reaching judgments during cases, reading and evaluating information from documents like motions or records, presiding over hearings and hearing opposing arguments and writing decisions, instructions and opinions regarding cases.
National average salary: $89,960 per year
Primary duties: A psychology professor teaches students at the collegiate level about psychology. Professors often conduct research for their institutions along with teaching. Common responsibilities for a psychology professor include creating syllabi and course schedules, giving lectures on a variety of topics relating to psychology, assigning and evaluating coursework and assessments for students, maintaining office hours for student questions, advising students about courses and attending professional conferences and seminars to stay current with the field.
National average salary: $95,518 per year
Primary duties: A psychologist is a mental health professional that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. Psychologists may focus on different specialties, like forensic psychologists or developmental psychologists. Duties may differ between the specialties, but the common responsibilities for this role include evaluating patients for diagnostic purposes, determining goals for psychotherapy, creating and implementing treatment plans and providing consultation to groups and patients.
Read more: Learn About Being a Psychologist
National average salary: $118,300 per year
Primary duties: A behavioral specialist is a mental health professional who works with children and adults with special needs. Behavioral specialists often work with schools and clinics. Common responsibilities for a behavioral specialist include observing and assessing patient behavior, developing and following treatment plans, communicating with parents, teachers, caregivers and families when implementing treatment plans, supporting patients during treatment, conducting assessments of patients' progress, recording treatment progress and collaborating with support organizations and other healthcare specialists during patient treatment.
National average salary: $134,760 per year
Primary duties: A law professor teaches students at the collegiate level about law. Law professors' common responsibilities include researching current events and news within the legal world, giving lectures to students on various law principles, creating course schedules and syllabi for classes, maintaining office hours for student support, assigning and grading student coursework, holding mock trials and advising students to help their work improve.
National average salary: $259,195 per year
Primary duties: A psychiatrist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. Common duties for a psychiatrist include evaluating patients' symptoms and the sources, whether mental or physical, using tests and examinations when diagnosing a patient's condition, creating and implementing a treatment plan, prescribing medication and referring patients to psychologists for specialized therapy when necessary.
Read more: Learn About Being a Psychiatrist
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