- Doug Zanes
- November 5, 2014
So you’ve finally made it through three grueling years of law school, and you just don’t want to do “it”…“it” meaning be a lawyer.
Contrary to popular belief, a JD does not have to equal becoming an attorney.
Really, you can in fact do a lot with a JD besides practicing law. The transferable skills that a law degree helps you develop are useful in a variety of non-law related professions.
What can you do with a law degree that doesn’t include working in the hottest law firms in the country? Surprisingly, quite a bit:
- Professional Counseling
If you have a law degree and a counseling degree this could be a double whammy in a good way! This allows a counselor to understand and sympathize with the stress of a law student, but remain objective and guiding for the long road ahead.
- Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
While you don’t need a law degree to work as a mediator, legal knowledge can help during the mediation process and can quickly get you in high demand.
- Development Agencies
Your degree can help if you plan on working with a non-governmental organization. After all, a lot of them work in countries where knowledge of the law is crucial to their mandate.
- Government and Politics
This may be obvious but having a JD can help you navigate the often murky waters of the law especially if you find yourself becoming opinionated.
- Banking and Finance
Politics not your thing? How about the old finance sector? There are certain fields where a law degree certainly couldn’t hurt such as estates, tax and small business. Even if you don’t want to practice law in the finance sector and prefer to deal with the money, having one can help since finance does require legal knowledge.
The fairy tale story of big time corporate lawyer turned entrepreneur never seems to get old. Of course you don’t need a degree to be an entrepreneur but some of the most successful lawyers turned entrepreneurs credit their degrees for helping them understand and negotiate contracts related to their business.
Law professionals may not want to practice the law but they might be interested in teaching it or doing research on the law to look at ways to improve or update the law.
- Journalism or Writing
Some lawyers have found work as legal analysts and as television anchors. One of the most famous writers is John Grisham who came to fame thanks to his books about the law.
- Public Interest Advocacy
And if you are still not convinced that the above jobs are aligned with your hard earned JD, then here are 99 other jobs to look into and a lawyer ain’t one of them.
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