A history degree actually pairs very well with a legal career, including litigation support roles. It is a degree that is commonly recommended to students as a “pre-law” option when no such specialty program is available. Individuals who have gone through a history program will have gained a number of skills that match up perfectly with the needs of litigation support. Here are some ways a degree in this field can provide very good litigation support.
See our ranking of the 30 Best History Degree Online Programs (Bachelor’s).
Individuals with a history degree are trained in research methods. They have done significant amounts of research in putting together arguments, research papers, capstone projects and other materials over the course of their schooling, and this experience translates well to the field of law. Litigation support involves significant amounts of research, which can be on any topic relevant to the case. Prior court cases and rulings are usually the topics researched most, which can be done in a physical law library or online through portals such as Westlaw and LexisNexis.
Critical Thinking Skills
History majors do a lot of critical thinking when looking at the people, events, and places of history for their research. Answers are usually not presented to them and they must draw conclusions that are closest to the truth from the information they are able to uncover. This translates well to litigation support. Critical thinking is necessary for quality litigation support because legal professionals must be able to put the pieces of a case together in order to get the full picture. History majors are well-practiced in critical thinking, making them great choices for providing litigation support on any type of case.
Most history majors have had to do some kind of interview, whether that is presenting their findings to their peers and fielding questions, or performing interviews with people who witnessed an event or other historians. Interviewing witnesses is an integral part of litigation support. Legal assistants and attorneys alike need to interview clients, witnesses, professionals, and others to help build a case. There is a delicate art to legal interviews because the interviewer needs to be extremely thorough and take away all the important, relevant details. History majors are good at sussing out the important details and creating a coherent story from it, which is the goal of all litigation.
History majors write many papers throughout their educational careers and therefore have strong writing skills when they graduate. Litigation involves a complex array of court documents that legal assistants are often tasked with drafting, as outlined by The Balance Careers. Attorneys are required to sign off on these documents, but much of the basic work is done by assistants in most firms, especially large ones. These documents need to be thorough and put together properly so they will hold up in court. With strong writing skills and attention to detail, anyone who has had an education in history is an excellent choice for fulfilling this important role.
Litigation support requires professionals with strong writing, critical thinking, interviewing and research skills. History majors are trained and have significant practice in all of these skills. At the end of the day, a history degree is an excellent option for anyone looking to go into the field of law or hiring managers at law practices to look for in candidates.