Alternative Careers

Today, many students begin law school with no plan ever to practice law.  Others, in the course of their law school studies, decide to combine law with another discipline and accept positions in the more general fields of management and business, as well as education, health care, philanthropy and many more. There are many career alternatives for the attorney who does not want to enter into a traditional practice. However, before deciding not to practice in a traditional setting, you should carefully analyze the pros and cons of your choice, understand your personal motivation, and assess long-term career goals. Your decision should be a positive one and should be made out of enthusiasm for a new area and not out of frustration with the trials and tribulations of law school.

Because the law touches every aspect of life, legal training is a plus in virtually all careers. You will have to provide evidence to prospective employers that your legal training is a bonus for their organization. Attorneys can and do regularly market themselves in this way with success, by using conviction, persuasive oral communication skills and knowledge of the prospective job. Plan to sit down with an advisor and devote some time to this important decision.

Web Resources
Print Resources
  • The Lawyer's Career Change Handbook: More Than 300 Things You Can Do With a Law Degree, Hindi Greenberg
  • Running from the Law: Why Good Lawyers are Getting out of the Legal Profession, Deborah L. Arron
  • What Can You do With a Law Degree? A Lawyer's Guide to Career Alternatives Inside, Outside & Around the Law, Deborah Arron
  • Consulting for PhDs, Lawyers, and Doctors (WetFeet)
  • Nonlegal Careers for Lawyers, Gary A. Munneke, et. al. (ABA Career Series)
  • Beyond L.A. Law: Break the Traditional "Lawyer" Mold – Inspiring Stories of People who've done fascinating things with a law degree, Janet Smith
  • Judgment Reversed: Alternative Careers For Lawyers – An Attorney's Advice on how to use your legal skills successful in another field, Jeffrey Strausser (Barron's)
  • Alternative Careers for Lawyers, Hillary Mantis (The Princeton Review)

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