What Other Jobs Can I Get With a Law Degree?

Explore jobs for lawyers who don’t want to be lawyers.

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Are you a current or former law student who has decided that a career as a lawyer is not right for you? Don’t be discouraged; your JD and all those years of schooling aren’t a waste. Many law school graduates decide during or after school that they want to pursue other professions. Luckily, a JD is a versatile degree that can serve you well in nearly any field.

Alternative jobs for law school graduates

  • Mediator: Mediators work with two disagreeing parties that don’t want to go to trial. Mediators don’t provide any sort of ruling on the issue; rather they simply moderate the discussions and offer advice. This is a great career choice for individuals who wish to work in a field similar to law, but without the pressure and stress that being a lawyer induces.
  • Research and writing: If you enjoyed studying law in school but found practicing to be dissatisfying, you can work as a legal book publisher or provide research for law firms and other related institutions.
  • Employee benefits manager: These individuals create the entire benefits plan for corporations. These plans must adhere to all state and federal laws, so your JD will make you an attractive applicant.
  • Teaching: You can become a teacher at nearly any level – primary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate. However, additional schooling and/or certification may be necessary in order to become a teacher, especially if you wish to become a professor of law.
  • Financial advisor: Are you good with numbers? Financial advisors work with individuals or organizations to provide supervision with investing, saving, and spending. When dealing with large amounts of money, it is important that all financial transactions are conducted in a legal manner.
  • Justice system: There are numerous jobs within the justice system – [CareerIS:474 clerk, probation officer, court writer – in which a JD is advantageous. You will need to utilize the knowledge you gained at school but won’t practice as a lawyer.

These are just a few of the many options available for those holding a law degree. If there is a specific industry that appeals to you, talk to employees who work in that field to find out how your understanding of the legal system might benefit their company.

Jobs for layers who don’t want to be lawyers: tips and tactics

  • Even if it is just a summer internship, spend some time in a law office in order to truly decide whether or not you want to be a lawyer. If you’re making this decision simply based on the stress of law school, you may find things to be different in an actual workplace.
  • How many law offices have you worked in? Sometimes, your dissatisfaction with a job may have to do with the workplace and co-workers than the job itself. If you’ve only worked in one office, consider a similar job in a different environment before committing to a full-fledged career change.
  • Employers may ask why you went to law school if you didn’t want to become a lawyer. Have an answer ready that elucidates your reasons for pursuing other career options. Emphasize the importance of law school and how the experience you’ve gained will serve you in your new field.


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