Business and Law

A degree in English is excellent preparation for many careers in business and law.

Career Paths in Business and Law Include:

Public Relations Writer

Public relations writers, also known as “PR” writers, are responsible for promoting the positive public image of a company or organization. To this end, they write press releases, newsletters, speeches, articles, and other content about the company or organization for distribution to various news outlets.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Build a positive public image for the company or organization
  • Serve as the liaison between a company/organization and the public
  • Write press releases and create media kits
  • Be aware of audience and context
  • Possess excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Plan events that generate good press for the company/organization
  • Manage public crises through official statements and strategic media coverage

Where They Work

Public relations writers often work for large businesses, health care facilities, public relations firms, and marketing agencies. Companies that have recently posted jobs for public relations writers in California include SEMA, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Blaze PR, and JSA Strategies.

Corporate Blogger

Corporate bloggers write content for company blogs.  They conduct research for blog projects, develop ideas for blog and social media posts, and work with the company’s social media manager to promote content.  One purpose of a corporate blogger’s work is to create a sense of community between businesses and their clients.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Promote the company’s goals, activities, and values via blogs and social media posts
  • Write informative and engaging content
  • Edit and proofread content for clarity, grammar, and style
  • Integrate photos and videos within written text
  • Possess excellent research skills

Where They Work

Corporate bloggers often work with corporate communications specialists or social media managers in businesses and nonprofits.  Companies and organizations that have recently posted jobs for corporate bloggers in California include ProClip, Traveler’s Choice, and Alta Mira Realty.

Corporate Communications Specialist

Corporate communications specialists oversee internal and external communications for large companies. They design company websites, social media content, instructional videos, and brand logos, as well as write press releases, newsletters, speeches, and company emails.  Although corporate communications specialists share many of the responsibilities of public relations writers, they differ in that they manage company communications not only with the public but also with company staff.  As such, the goals of corporate communications specialists are often tri-fold: to promote a positive public image of the company, to keep employees informed about company happenings, and to build staff morale. 

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Promote the company’s mission, values, and activities
  • Write engaging content for audiences inside and outside the company
  • Oversee internal and external company websites and social media
  • Possess superior writing and editing skills
  • Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills

Where They Work

Corporate communications specialists often work in financial, medical, and technical fields, as well as in other areas such as hospitality. Companies that have recently posted jobs for corporate communications specialists in California include Kaiser, dineEquity, The Ritz-Carlton, and UFC Gym.

Advertising Copywriter

Advertising copywriters write ads for magazines, billboards, TV, radio, websites, and social media. They typically work with a graphic designer and art director to integrate text and visuals.    

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Write copy for print ads, outdoor signage, social media, and TV and radio commercials
  • Collaborate with an artistic team on creative advertising concepts
  • Pitch concepts to clients
  • Think imaginatively
  • Have a strong command of language
  • Juggle multiple projects simultaneously and under tight deadlines
  • Read and listen widely, and stay up on popular culture

Where they work

Copywriters often work at advertising agencies, also known as creative agencies or marketing agencies. Companies in California that have recently posted jobs for advertising copywriters include Apple, Designory, Sharp Health Care, and Vans.

Advertising Manager

Advertising managers oversee marketing campaigns for various clients, including small and large businesses and non-profits. Their work may also include directing market research, managing advertising budgets, and liaising between clients and the marketing team.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Plan and coordinate advertising campaigns
  • Think strategically and creatively
  • Possess excellent analytical and rhetorical skills
  • Be able to lead a team and collaborate well with others
  • Work under tight deadlines and handle pressure well

Where They Work

Advertising managers often work for advertising agencies, media firms, or individual businesses.  Companies that have recently posted jobs for advertising managers in California include Single Grain, AKUA Mind and Body, Agua Caliente, and GoPro.

Brand Strategist

Brand strategists develop plans for enhancing the brand of a product, service, company, or organization.  They identify branding elements—such as names, colors, logos, and messaging—that resonate with target consumers.  Brand strategists collaborate with market research analysts, art directors, and copywriters to create new brands, revamp stale ones, and promote brand awareness among consumers.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Analyze demographic research on consumer groups
  • Develop brand messaging, logos, and visuals that connect with target consumers
  • Think creatively
  • Possess excellent communication skills, both spoken and written
  • Collaborate well with marketing team members and clients

Where They Work

Brand strategists often work for both large agencies and small businesses. Companies that have recently posted jobs in California for brand strategists include Horizon Media, Slicebread, Mullenlowe, Newell Brands, Riot Games, and 24Seven Talent.

Event Planner

Event planners coordinate meetings, conferences, seminars, conventions, trade shows, celebrations, fundraising events, and other occasions. They oversee all planning and logistics of an event, including its theme, program, venue, décor, vendors, and budget.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Think creatively
  • Problem-solve effectively
  • Be highly organized and enjoy details
  • Manage pressure well under tight deadlines
  • Interact well with team members, vendors, and clients

Where They Work

Event planners often work for large businesses, non-profits, and catering companies. Companies and organizations in California that have recently posted jobs for event planners include California Teachers Association, Kiros Catering, ThinkLA, Stanford University, Cal State Long Beach, Perfect Success Event Management and Production Company, and Sweet Oaks.

Attorney

Attorneys, also known as lawyers, are legal advisors and advocates for individual clients, businesses, government entities, and other organizations.  Attorneys may specialize in particular areas, such as family law, tax law, environmental law, criminal law, public interest law, estate planning, immigration, civil rights, intellectual property and patents, and other areas. While some attorneys are trial lawyers, others may work mainly or completely outside of a courtroom.  To become an attorney, you must first receive a Bachelor’s degree, take the LSAT, be admitted to an accredited law school, complete a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, and pass the bar exam. English is among the top five most recommended majors for applying to law school, as it prepares students for the analytical reading and writing required of legal studies.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Represent and advise clients on legal matters
  • Conduct research on laws and judicial decisions
  • Interpret how relevant law applies to the facts of a client’s case
  • Write legal documents of various kinds
  • Be adept at close reading and textual analysis
  • Be a precise and rhetorically effective writer

Where They Work

Attorneys may work in law firms, businesses, government offices and other organizations, as well as in solo law practice.  
 

Educational and Other Requirements

  • B.A. degree
  • LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
  • J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school
  • Bar exam for the state in which you will practice law

Paralegal

Paralegals assist attorneys with various assignments. They conduct research on cases, draft legal documents, and maintain files.  Paralegals may specialize in particular areas of law, such as estate planning, patent law, immigration law, family law, and others.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Conduct research on laws and rulings relevant to a case
  • Draft legal documents, including briefs and contracts
  • Write reports to help attorneys prepare for meetings or trials
  • Maintain files
  • Have strong organizational and research skills
  • Interact well with others

Educational Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Certificate in paralegal studies from an ABA-accredited paralegal program

Where They Work

Paralegals work in law firms, insurance companies, large businesses, and government agencies. They may also freelance. Companies that have recently posted jobs for paralegals in California include Cutter Law, Hughes & Hughes LLP, Farmers Insurance Group, Tesla Motors, and Sony Pictures.

Forensic Linguist

Forensic linguists conduct linguistic analyses of texts submitted as evidence in criminal proceedings.  Specifically, they examine the phonological, grammatical, stylistic, and dialectal features of such materials as voice recordings and written notes of various kinds in order to determine their authenticity, authorship, and intent.  Forensic linguists also interpret the language of the law and linguistic patterns in witness testimony.  They often work as consultants for law enforcement agencies and attorneys.  Forensic linguistics is a sub-field of applied linguistics.

Skills and Responsibilities

  • Work as a linguistic consultant on criminal cases
  • Analyze the linguistic features of spoken and written texts to determine authorship, authenticity, and intent

Educational Requirements

  • Graduate degree in Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, or Forensic Linguistics

Where They Work

Forensic linguists serve as expert consultants for attorneys and for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI.  As this consulting work is often only part-time, a forensic linguist may also hold a full-time position as a university professor. 
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