A legal investigator identifies, researches and examines the facts of a case or situation, usually to report that information back to the person who hired him or her. In this career, you can use several tools, including legal research skills, evidence preparation, interviews, cameras and more. You also have the opportunity to do more than one type of job, something that lets you broaden your skill set and vary what you do.
Family and domestic law investigator
A family law investigator usually works for a family law firm. In this job, you can do things like interview parents and family members to help settle a custody dispute, carry out surveillance on a spouse who is accused of cheating in a divorce, or help a domestic violence victim prove what is going on in the home. The tasks will vary by firm and case, and they focus on issues within the home and between family members.
Criminal law cases
Criminal law is what the public most associates with legal investigators. In this job, you review crime scenes, identify and prepare evidence, and do whatever else is necessary to determine the facts of the crime, such as interviewing people and conducting research.
Criminal defense role
As a criminal defense investigator, you’re working with a defense lawyer to identify and prove flaws and inconsistencies in his or her client’s criminal case. You may work on a case while it’s still in court for the first time or after the person has been convicted as part of an appeal.
A fraud investigator works with banks, businesses, financial institutions and insurance companies to review cases for fraud. For example, if you’re working for an auto insurer, you may be asked to investigate the person making the claim for damages against the insurer to see if he or she really experienced the losses being alleged.
Workers’ compensation fraud investigator
Many workers’ compensation agencies use investigators to ensure they have all the facts of an injured worker’s case. There have been several instances of fraud in workers’ compensation claims, resulting in deep losses, which is why investigators are now a regular part of many of these departments.
White collar crime specialist
As a white collar crime investigator for a large corporation or business, your job is to investigate suspected or potential crimes committed by employees, such as embezzlement, fraud and misrepresentation. This type of job often involves forensic computer work because many businesses conduct their transactions electronically.
Judgment recovery expert
Investigators who do judgment recovery work are responsible for locating the assets of someone who lost a lawsuit and have a court judgment against them. In these case, the creditor – the person owed money on the judgment – hires an investigator to search for property he or she can seize to recover the cash owed.
Missing persons services
Some investigators focus exclusively on locating missing people. They are often hired by relatives or friends of the missing person, although law enforcement may also need the service, especially if the person is relevant to an active case.
Background check services can be part of other investigations or a separate job on their own. The investigator works to develop a full background on the person who is the subject of the search.
Cyber crime specialist
Cyber crime investigators are usually involved in the collection and analysis of digital data, such as items found on a computer. In today’s electronic age, the demand for people in this field is higher than ever.