Building a career in law with your hard-earned degree is not limited to defending clients and engaging in a heated debate in the courtroom. You might have chosen to pursue legal studies due to the excitement and adrenaline felt in these situations. With heart-racing scenes from well-known legal dramas like Suits and How to Get Away with Murder fresh on everyone’s minds, who wouldn’t want to pursue justice and uphold order in this chaotic world. Unfortunately, competition is tight and sleepless nights are a given in working towards becoming a partner in a law firm or setting up a private practice.
According to a report by the National Association for Law Placement, only half of the graduating class of 2015 were able to land jobs in private practices which is a number fewer than the classes in the last few decades. Luckily there exists a variety of alternative careers aside from becoming a trucking attorney in Washington. A graduate with a Juris Doctor (JD) degree can choose to stay in the legal industry or try their luck in other industries like business or finance. They might even have a more lucrative and less stressful career in their chosen niche.
1. Management consultant
The shift to becoming a management consultant is easy for lawyers. The role requires becoming an expert in your chosen field, spot issues and advise your clients on their recommended course of action. Lawyers already have the necessary skills present such as high-level analytical skills, stakeholder management and endurance for research. Being a consultant exposes you to a wide range of topics and people instead of just in the legal ecosystem.
2. Policy advisor
Policies and laws are the lifeblood of governments. They allow society to function and develop in a predictable and orderly manner. Many government departments have extensive policy teams for lawyers that are more interested in development work. The job can be rewarding and fulfilling as you can clearly see your impact at a widescale perspective. Lawyers passionate for financial regulations, improving the judicial process, or strengthening institutions and competition laws can find their calling as a policy advisor.
3. Public affairs specialist
Interpreting the law, understanding problems, drafting contracts, and giving a compelling argument are some skills in a lawyer’s repertoire. These translate well to a communications role whether in marketing or in public affairs. They already understand the importance of communicating well, managing perceptions and being careful about the messaging. Lawyers also have built the patience to peruse multiple sources of information and produce persuasive stands.
If you find yourself loving the rigors of academia and transferring knowledge to young and scrappy students, then becoming a professor might be for you. While a Masters-level or higher qualification is needed in more advanced classes, one still has the option to teach basic law and its applications to college-level students. Being a professor can be satisfying as you help the next generation navigate the world, equipping them with the necessary skills and acumen to thrive.
In today’s globalized and innovative world, one is not limited to a career related to their degree. Having a good background in knowing the law can easily be used in other professions aside from becoming an attorney.