The landscape of the legal profession has drastically changed in recent years. Instead of asking students what area of practice they plan to pursue, the question may become “what do you plan to do with your law degree”?
Wednesday, October 15th, the North Carolina Bar Association through its Center for Practice Management hosted their first Alt JD Conference. Branding expert Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You, was the keynote speaker.
After talking with a few law students who were attending the conference, it seems more students are thinking about alternative careers while they are attending law school.
Here is a list of non-traditional careers where a law degree may be helpful:
Law firm administration – marketing, recruiting, librarian, personnel, other
Law school - professor, administrator, career services, admissions, law librarian, other
Bar Association - CLE, administration, membership services, other
Human Resources for association, law firm, other business
Non-profit – executive director, staff member, marketing
Instructor in paralegal program
Government – investigator, contracts, social services, other
Law enforcement such as State Bureau of Investigation or Federal Bureau of Investigation
Legal vendor – sales, trainer, marketing
Business or entrepreneur
Make sure you talk to your law school career services office. Those folks aren’t practicing law either and they will know other alums who aren’t practicing law who are successful. Also, here are some books that may serve as references:
Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams by Kimm Alayne Walton
America’s Greatest Places to Work with a Law Degree by Kimm Alayne Walton
What Can You Do With a Law Degree by Deborah L Arron
Job Quest for Lawyers: The Essential Guide to Finding and Landing the Job You Want by Sheila Nielsen
Breaking Traditions: Work Alternatives for Lawyers by Alan T. Ackerman
Reinventing You by Dorie Clark
Strengthsfinders 2.0 by Tom Rath
StrengthsQuest: Helping Students Achieve Academic, Career and Personal Success published by Gallup
Many graduates fear their first job determines their entire legal career. That is no longer the case. You will have many jobs ahead of you and perhaps several careers. Considering an alternative legal career may be the new normal for a majority of recent law grads.
Camille Stell is the Vice President of Client Services for Lawyers Mutual. With over 20 years of experience in the legal field, Camille has advised hundreds of paralegals, law students and lawyers on career development. Contact Camille at 800.662.8843 or Camille@lawyersmutualnc.com.