While settling into a stable position at a law firm might be many of a law student’s dream after graduation, it’s important to know you’re not limited to one career path with a law degree. For example, many law students may begin undergrad as a pre-law English major. Being able to hone the written word makes you a natural choice for professional writer or proofreader. This skill set alone could be very useful in a variety of sectors, including publishing, marketing or even teaching. Other writing-related career options could include journalist, editor, or even screenwriter and novelist, a la John Grisham.
Politics and law are also closely linked, and many law students may be pulled toward making a difference in the public sector. Many politicians actually started their careers in law – including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. If you’re considering a career in politics, you could get started by working the campaign trail for candidates that share your values. You could also work as a lobbyist, political advisor, or fundraiser.
For the more mathematically inclined, many people with law degrees may end up working in finances. From handling the financial details of a small business – including your own – you could also end up in a viable career as an accountant, estate planner, or certified financial planner. Other money-based career options include banker, investment banker, stockbroker or trust officer.
If you loved learning law, you might also be a good fit to teach it. Many lawyers end up back in the realm of higher education, either as a law professor or law librarian. Many lawyers may find themselves moving up the ladder of academia to be a career counselor or the director of admissions or alumni affairs. If this sounds like the option for you, be sure to network before you leave your alma mater.
Are you drawn to helping others? Then being a public interest advocate may be the right choice for you after you complete law school. Public interest advocacy covers a wide range of legal services, including investigation, community outreach and education and class action lawsuits.
Not everyone wants to be tied to a law firm – and that’s perfectly fine! You can set out on your own as a legal consultant, managing contracts or providing legal advice for individual clients, small businesses or corporations. Or, if you have a knack for recognizing and finding good talent, you could act as a legal headhunter.