Five Directions You Can Take a Career in Law

Five Directions You Can Take a Career in Law
  • Opening Intro -

    Students enter law school with stars in their eyes and big dreams in their heads.

    They can't wait to take the bar exam and begin practicing law.

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While working as an attorney is the primary reason why students attend law school, it isn’t the only job available to those with a law degree. You’ll find several different directions that you can take after finishing law school.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is a unique job field that applies mediation skills to contracts and other types of negotiations. As a mediator, clients will call on you for help when they need someone to create a contract that meets the needs of two different parties. You might work on negotiations before a company sells to another business, when a company hires a new person or when two parties need to broker a real estate deal.

Public Advocacy

Public advocacy experts push for changes in laws and other regulations. Some law students volunteer for the California Innocence Project and similar organizations during law school, and others go to work for those organizations full-time after graduating. Those men and women help convicts wrongfully convicted of murders and other major crimes, and these organizations have helped free hundreds of innocent people over the years. According to Anne Fisher of CNN Money, nonprofit is a popular area of work for law school graduates.

Bankruptcy Law

By specializing in bankruptcy law, you will help creditors, businesses, or the general public with their financial insolvency court cases. Due to the recent worldwide financial struggles, jobs in bankruptcy are on the rise. If you decide to take the bankruptcy law route, expect strict timelines shorter than many other typical litigation time frames. You should also feel comfortable drafting contracts, analyzing technical legal strictures, and articulating yourself clearly as you will spend a lot of time in the court room representing your clients. As with most lawyer positions, you must have a bachelor’s degree, along with a law degree from an accredited law school.

Journalism

Law students spend years researching court cases, writing papers and honing their skills, and you can put those skills to work for you as a journalist. In addition to writing for legal publications, you can work as a newspaper or magazine writer, create your own legal website or blog or even publish books on important legal cases.

Academia

The number of students entering law school increases each year, and schools across the country need professors and faculty members to teach and work with those students. As a member of academia, you can practice law, publish articles and take on pro bono cases as you work with students. Some law schools require that professors have a history of publishing to law journals and similar publications, while other law schools ask that professors pass the bar exam before applying.
With millions of people working as lawyers or attorneys, you might find that landing a spot at a law firm isn’t as easy as you thought. If you don’t want to open your own firm or compete for those coveted spots, you can use your law degree in other areas, including academia and journalism.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

This article uses information from the California Innocence Project, an organization that works for the release of unjustly sentenced prisoners.

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Categories: Academics