If you're looking for a career outside of a law office, there are several professions to consider. Many industries even offer positions where you can use the skills and expertise you learned in law school. Knowing your options can help you make a more informed decision regarding your future career outside of the legal landscape. In this article, we provide you with tips for finding a job after being a lawyer and a list of alternative careers to consider.
What are some tips for finding a job after being a lawyer?
Your law degree and the skills you obtained as a lawyer can help you get a job in a variety of industries. Even if you no longer want to practice law, there are several ways to put your experience to good use. Here are some tips to aid your job search:
Merge your current skills with your new passion
Along with considering your current skill set, it's important to determine your passion. Make a list of jobs that blend both your newfound passion and your current legal expertise. For example, your analytical skills or attention to detail can help you become an investigator, law professor or risk manager. Merging your current skills with your new passion can help you find a job you're not only good at but one you enjoy doing, too.
Use your analytical skills to consider jobs you hadn't previously considered. For example, if you just graduated from law school, you can find a company you want to work for, get hired to their legal department and eventually move to a non-legal role. Also, certain legal roles can help you move into communications or another industry or role.
Use your network
Having been through law school and possibly some form of employment, you may have valuable contacts in your network. Use them to your advantage and ask if anyone knows of nonlegal opportunities that may interest you. Even if your connections are in the legal industry, they may introduce you to employers in other fields.
Related: Learn About Being a Lawyer
Alternative jobs for lawyers
Once you've decided you no longer want to be a lawyer, it's important to consider what you want your next profession to be. Similar jobs, in particular, allow you to use what you learned in law school in a different capacity. Looking for a similar role can also increase your chances of employment since you may already have the skills a hiring manager is looking for. Here are 16 alternative jobs for lawyers, their national average salaries and primary duties:
National average salary: $51,455 per year
Primary duties: Paralegals use their knowledge of the law to perform various legal tasks for lawyers. Employed by lawyers, corporations or other entities, paralegals draft legal documents, do legal research and attend client interviews. They also conduct investigations, though they don't represent clients in court as a lawyer does.
Related: Learn About Being a Paralegal
National average salary: $58,561 per year
Primary duties: An investigator or detective collects evidence and information regarding a crime. They have many responsibilities, including speaking to witnesses, searching databases and arresting criminals. They have strong attention to detail and use their analytical skills to help them solve a variety of cases.
National average salary: $59,171 per year
Primary duties: Investment consultants are investment professionals who help companies and individuals with their financial goals. Using their financial skills, they also develop investment strategies. Investment consultants work in a variety of workplaces such as banks, investment firms or simply on their own.
National average salary: $64,623 per year
Primary duties: Mediators help two parties agree on a conflicting matter. They aim for civil communication and a timely and cost-effective agreement. Mediators also inform both parties of the mediation process, interview both parties, facilitate communication and answer questions.
5. Fund manager
National average salary: $66,110 per year
Primary duties: Fund managers oversee the management of a company's funds. They also manage analysts, perform research and make various strategic financial decisions such as those regarding stocks, bonds and other fund securities.
National average salary: $73,073 per year
Primary duties: Financial analysts perform various duties related to the analysis of a company or organization's finances. They identify financial trends, offer advice to the management team, reconcile transactions and maintain a company's database.
National average salary: $79,106 per year
Primary duties: A realtor is a licensed real estate salesperson who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. Realtors guide their clients through the transaction process of buying real estate. They also answer client questions, serve as a point of communication between buyers and sellers and keep the transaction process moving along.
Related: Learn About Being a Realtor
National average salary: $79,486 per year
Primary duties: Labor relations specialists work within a company's human resources department. Some of their primary responsibilities include interpreting employee contracts, implementing labor relations programs, developing policies and promoting compliance with various contracts.
National average salary: $84,108 per year
Primary duties: Real estate agents represent the buyer, seller or owner of a real estate property. They attend client meetings, show the property to various parties and complete various office work.
10. Contract manager
National average salary: $87,963 per year
Primary duties: Contract managers create, manage and oversee a company or organization's various contracts. They are the point of contact between companies, employees and third parties and help settle negotiations. Ultimately, they see a contract through from fruition to execution.
National average salary: $98,484 per year
Primary duties: A director of human resources (HR), or an HR director, oversees a company's HR department. They supervise staff, offer advice regarding staffing plans, the budget, labor relations and other HR-related duties. Directors of human resources also assist with dispute resolution and negotiation tactic implementation.
Related: Learn About Being an HR Director
National average salary: $98,749 per year
Primary duties: Management consultants are working professionals trained to solve complex issues. They develop strategies to assist their clients in maintaining good financial and operational health. They have various responsibilities that include analyzing financial data, meeting with clients, evaluating an organization's management staff and analyzing an organization's business structure.
National average salary: $102,793 per year
Primary duties: Private equity associates work in investment banking and handle a variety of related duties. Some of their responsibilities include fundraising, monitoring portfolio companies and reviewing confidential information memorandum.
National average salary: $110,547 per year
Primary duties: Chief executive officers (CEOs) are the highest-ranking officer or position in an organization. They manage and oversee a company or organization in its entirety. CEOs make a variety of corporate decisions, manage a company's operations, communicate on behalf of the company to various parties including the public and shareholders, evaluate the performance of other executive leaders and create strategic goals.
15. Risk manager
National average salary: $112,419 per year
Primary duties: Risk managers identify, evaluate and project potential risks that can affect a company or organization. They determine any potential impact and help companies eliminate or minimize any risks. Using their analytical and critical thinking skills, they assess a variety of risks, including strategic risks, compliance risks and reputational risks.
National average salary: $137,302 per year
Primary duties: Chief financial officers manage a company or organization's financial decisions. They use their financial planning skills to track cash flow and help a company remain in good financial health. They also identify a company's financial strengths and work to minimize its financial deficiencies.
More alternative careers for lawyers
Outside of the list above, here are 44 other jobs to consider after being a lawyer:
- Account manager
- Bail bondsman
- Border patrol
- Career counselor
- Contract administrator
- Correctional officer
- Digital marketer
- Director of ethics
- FBI agent
- Hearing officer
- Investment banker
- Law librarian
- Law professor
- Legal aid
- Legal editor
- Legal sales
- Legal secretary
- Loss prevention officer
- News reporter
- Patrol officer
- Policy advisor
- Policy analyst
- Political affairs officer
- Political campaign manager
- Project manager
- Public relations associate
- Real estate broker
- Security guard
- State bar administrator
- TSA agent
- Union organizer