Alternative Paths: An introduction to the many things you can do with your law degree
Graduate, spend several months agonizingly studying for the bar, take the bar, pass the bar, obtain a clerkship or job at a firm. This tends to be the routine one thinks about when they think about life beyond law school. Degree equals attorney. But what if, for all your love of the law and its complex facets, you find yourself looking for something else? The average person changes jobs five to seven times in their life. This doesn’t refer to the high school change from “would you like fries with that” to “can I get you a fitting room” but complete adult transfers. Given this, the idea of having a JD as an advanced degree of choice seems extremely limiting as off the top of one’s head the careers are attorney, judge, and law clerk; doesn’t leave much room to make those career changes monumental. True, there is a vast array of areas of law to practice, but moving among them still, in general, leaves the same type of work.
So what happens if you put your blood, sweat, and mascara into three years of law school and down the road discover that you actually do want to make a monumental change. It’s not an extraordinary possibility; in fact, it is statistically likely. Or what if you are already in law school and struggling to find something different from the typical? Maybe you got through your first year and after your first real legal experience find that the courtroom, brief writing life isn’t quite what you want but you have a passion for the law and want to get your degree.
This column gives you a plethora of options if you find yourself in the above situation. Each article will give you an in depth analysis of a career that requires or prefers, or gives weight to a law degree. The articles will give a summary of the career, salary expectations, prospects for women, and any other interesting tid-bits or fun facts I can find to help you explore your options beyond the courtroom.
You can make those five, seven, twenty career changes without having to obtain a new degree. Or you can graduate and do something beyond the routine. The reality is a law degree does not have to limit you but rather it can open you up to a world of choices, and I am going to give you a sampling of those possibilities.