Are you a lawyer looking for a new opportunity in the legal industry? Or perhaps you’re just starting law school and want to learn more about your options? There are many alternative careers for lawyers that can be just as rewarding as practicing law.
This article will cover some of the most popular alternatives and what you need to know to make the switch. So, whether you’re ready to leave the law or are just looking into your options, keep reading!
What Are Alternative Careers for Lawyers?
For many lawyers, the path to success is straightforward: Graduate from law school, get a job at a prestigious law firm, and gradually work your way up the ranks. However, this is not the only route available to lawyers.
In recent years, an increasing number of lawyers have begun to pursue non-traditional careers that make use of their legal skills. Here are just a few of the many career options available to lawyers today:
A paralegal is a professional who works alongside lawyers to provide legal services. Paralegals receive training in a variety of legal tasks, such as legal research, writing, and case management. Many jurisdictions require paralegals to be licensed to practice.
If you are interested in working in the legal system but do not want to be a lawyer, consider this alternative career path for lawyers. Judges preside over court proceedings and make decisions on legal cases. To become a judge, you must first be elected or appointed to the position.
If you enjoy the law but do not want to practice it, you could teach it. Law professors teach law students and conduct legal research. To become a law professor, you must have a law degree and prior legal experience.
Legal Aid Attorney
Working as a legal aid attorney allows you to assist those who cannot afford legal representation. Legal aid attorneys provide low-income individuals and families with free or low-cost legal services. You must have a law degree and pass the bar exam to become a legal aid attorney.
Lobbyists lobby government officials on behalf of their clients. This career change for lawyers may entail conducting research, writing, communicating with government officials, and testifying in front of legislatures. To work as a lobbyist, you must have prior experience in government relations or public policy.
A career in politics could be the ideal way to use your law degree to make a difference in the world. Politicians create policies and laws at the local, state, and federal levels that affect citizens all over the country.
Director of Human Resources
A human resources director is in charge of overseeing the human resources department of a company. This includes responsibilities such as developing and implementing human resource policies, supervising the recruitment and selection process, managing employee records, and administering benefit programs.
A law degree, as with these other alternative legal careers, can be beneficial for this position because it covers topics such as contract law and labor law.
Indigent defendants who have been charged with a crime are represented by public defenders. This option may suit those who want to use their skills to assist those who cannot afford private attorneys.
Mediation may be a good fit for you if you are a people person with excellent communication skills. Mediators assist in the resolution of disputes between two parties by facilitating discussion and assisting them in reaching an agreement.
Arbitration is a process similar to mediation but a more formal process in which the arbitrator makes a binding decision. This option may be suitable for those who want to act as a neutral third party in disputes.
Journalism is one of the most exciting career paths for lawyers. It’s an excellent choice for lawyers who enjoy writing and conducting research. Journalists cover the news, write stories, and are often involved in uncovering stories that would otherwise go untold. This job requires excellent research and writing skills, as well as an interest in current events.
Investigative work is another great alternative for lawyers who enjoy writing and researching. Investigators are commonly employed by law firms, corporations, or government agencies. They conduct research, collect evidence, and frequently write reports based on their findings. This profession necessitates excellent writing and research skills and a keen eye for detail.
Contract manager is the next job on our list of career alternatives for lawyers. A contract manager is in charge of overseeing contract development and implementation.
This may include negotiating terms with vendors, drafting contract documents, reviewing proposed contract changes, and monitoring contract compliance. A law degree can be beneficial for this position because it teaches skills such as contract law and negotiation.
A recruiter is someone who assists businesses in finding and hiring employees. Recruiters are typically employed by staffing firms or human resource departments. They can also be self-employed and provide recruitment services to companies.
A risk manager is in charge of identifying, assessing, and managing risks that may have an impact on an organization. This may include performing risk assessments, developing risk mitigation plans, monitoring risks, and reporting risks to senior management.
This is one of many alternative careers with a law degree because a law degree teaches risk management and insurance law, which is useful for this position.
A consultant is someone who advises companies or individuals. Consultants usually specialize in one industry, such as healthcare or management consulting. On the other hand, some consultants are generalists who work in multiple industries.
A financial analyst is in charge of providing financial analysis and advice to businesses. This may include financial research, preparing financial reports, analyzing financial data, and making financial planning and investment recommendations.
A law degree is advantageous for this position because the job requires knowledge of tax law and corporate finance.
An optional job for lawyers leaving law can be in sales. A salesperson is someone who makes a living by selling goods or services to customers. Salespeople are typically employed by businesses that manufacture or sell goods or services. They can also be self-employed.
A realtor is a professional who assists people in purchasing and selling real estate. Realtors typically work for a real estate brokerage and are paid through commissions on property sales. While some lawyers choose to become realtors after leaving the practice of law, being a lawyer is not required to become a realtor.
Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent, like a realtor, assists people in buying and selling property. Real estate agents are not required to work for a brokerage and are typically paid a flat fee rather than a commission for their services. After leaving the practice of law and looking for alternative careers for attorneys, many lawyers, like realtors, decide to become real estate agents.
Many lawyers nowadays are pursuing exciting careers in criminal justice. While becoming an FBI agent is not for every lawyer, it is an option for those interested in federal law enforcement. A law degree and at least three years of professional experience are required to become an FBI agent. Furthermore, FBI agents must go through extensive background checks and training.
Many lawyers choose to use their legal expertise to launch their own businesses. This can be an excellent way to apply your legal knowledge to the creation of something new and innovative. A law degree can provide you with the necessary foundation if you are looking for jobs for lawyers who don’t want to practice law and want to start their own business.
You’ll discover how to write contracts, negotiate deals, and navigate the legal system. You’ll also have access to a network of other lawyers who can assist you in getting your business off the ground.
A content writer is a professional who creates content for a living. This can include writing blog posts, articles, web copy, and even marketing collateral. While a law degree is not required to be a content writer, it can be beneficial. After all, content writers must be able to research topics, comprehend complex concepts, and communicate clearly and concisely.
Furthermore, because many content writers work with clients from a wide range of industries, a law degree can give you an advantage when applying for jobs.
A copywriter is someone who creates copy for advertisements and marketing materials. Copywriters, like content writers, must be able to research topics, comprehend complex concepts, and communicate clearly and concisely.
Copywriters, on the other hand, must be able to sell goods and services. A law degree can equip you with the skills you need to succeed in this field, and it is frequently pursued as a second career for lawyers.
Public Relations Specialist
A public relations specialist is in charge of an organization’s or an individual’s public image. This can include creating and implementing public relations campaigns, writing press releases, and dealing with the media.
A law degree can be beneficial in this field because it teaches research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Furthermore, many law students take courses in media law or communications, which can give them an advantage when applying for jobs in public relations.
Law Career Alternatives - How To Transition From a Legal Career
There are many reasons why someone might want to transition from a career as a lawyer. Perhaps they’re looking for a change of pace, or they’re interested in exploring other legal fields. Whatever the reason, making the transition can be daunting. Here are a few tips from a former lawyer to help make the transition smoother:
Do Your Research
If you’re interested in transitioning to another legal field, spend some time researching the different options. What are the different practice areas? What type of work would you be doing day-to-day? What is the salary range for this new field, and what’s the required legal education? The more information you have, the better prepared you’ll be to make a decision.
When it comes to finding the best alternative careers for lawyers, networking is essential. Connect with people in your desired field and let them know you’re interested in making a career change. Attend industry events, read trade publications, and stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends.
Making a significant career change can take time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t land your dream job right away. Maintain your professional development by networking and applying for jobs until you find the perfect fit. Best of luck with your job search and new career!
Job Alternatives for Lawyers - The Bottom Line
While the law may be a great career, it is not the only option out there. If you feel unsatisfied or unfulfilled in your legal profession, consider pursuing one of the many other available careers.
The benefits of these other industries can be just as rewarding - if not more so - than law. And with the right resources, advice, and legal training, the transition from law to another industry can be much easier than you think. So don’t wait any longer; explore the alternative jobs for lawyers that we have outlined and find the perfect fit for you.