career in psychology and law?
November 6, 2007 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Careers (or jobs) that apply psychology to law?

I recently started interning at a Wrongful Convictions organization in Chicago and I love it. I want to explore the possibility of doing something in this field for a living, but I don't really know where to start. I don't know if law school is for me either. I studied psychology in college and worked for a year as a research coordinator for a psych professor. Does anyone know of any positions or career paths where I could put my skills and knowledge to good use?
posted by AceRock to Work & Money (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Forensic psychology?
posted by amro at 8:20 AM on November 6, 2007

posted by amro at 8:21 AM on November 6, 2007

Well, as a data point, I did the whole psychology major to law school transition and although it's quite different, I think psychology plays very well to examining legal issues. One thing I considered, other than law school was jury consulting, which fits the bill.
posted by harrumph at 8:31 AM on November 6, 2007

Here's another. Dunno if you'll need the MD and full psychiatrist's license for it or not. But that might be more palatable than law school.
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 8:33 AM on November 6, 2007

Jury consulting is interesting. National Jury Project.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:35 AM on November 6, 2007

There's lots of stuff you could do with a psych. background without going to law school!

You could be a mitigation investigator, helping to establish the psychological and familial background of criminal defendants that helps to reduce their sentences (including avoiding the death penalty). Some public defender organizations, such as the Bronx Defenders, work in interdisciplinary teams that include social workers and psychologists.
posted by footnote at 8:37 AM on November 6, 2007

Maybe arbitration/mediation.
posted by exogenous at 9:24 AM on November 6, 2007

Family law and wealth management law often have heavy counseling aspects. That would require law school, though, and it's not clear that you are interested in the counseling aspect of psychology.
posted by ohio at 11:04 AM on November 6, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks so much for the replies and suggestions guys! To clear some things up, I'm not really interested in the counseling aspect of psychology, I'm much more interested in research.
posted by AceRock at 11:53 AM on November 6, 2007

I Googled "psychology law research" and got some ideas (I have backgrounds in both fields as well - and oddly enough in wrongful conviction work as well).

My inclination is to say that if you prefer the research part of psychology, see if you can get into that "psychology and law" niche and pursue research in that. Law school probably won't be a big help, and you might check out some of the threads on law school in general.

If it were me, I would probably browse the places doing the research, and then get in touch with the people running those places, and ask them what kinds of careers they see being a good fit for people with your interests. It can't hurt, and you might make some good contacts. Talk to your professors as well.

If you want to talk more, MeMail me.
posted by KAS at 2:10 PM on November 6, 2007

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