Why Your Law School Might Not Help You Find Your Next Job

Most law schools have an enthusiastic and hard-working career counseling office and staff. If you are headed to a law firm, and especially if you are headed to a BIG law firm after graduation, these offices will likely be your best source for recruitment and placement.

But what if you want an alternative beyond practicing law after law school? What if you want to use your high level analytical legal thought training in a more creative field? Will your law school career office be of much help?

Probably not.

To be clear, it's not that your law school doesn't have access to alternative jobs, but your law school's hands are somewhat tied. You see, law school rankings are still based in large part upon how many students are placed in "JD required" and "JD preferred jobs," and thus your law school career office will be feeling considerable pressure to point you toward those jobs after graduation, and even up to 5 years out of law school to ensure statistics weigh in their favor for rankings purposes. 

So where can you find alternative jobs for JD's? 

In many instances, your local and State Bar Associations will be a much better source than your alma mater. Many Bar associations have a Lawyers in Transition Committee (or a similarly titled group), which have historically worked with retiring lawyers, but are increasingly becoming a resource for lawyers who are transitioning much earlier on in their careers. 


P.S. For more ideas about alternative careers, check out Life After Law, by my friend, Liz Brown.


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