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What Else Can You Do with a Law Degree? Here are 60 Possibilities
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What Else Can You Do with a Law Degree? Here are 60 Possibilities

Summary: In one of his latest articles, Harrison Barnes explores job possibilities outside the legal world for attorneys.

In the article 60 Nontraditional Jobs You Can Do with a Law Degree (and Should Strongly Consider Doing), Harrison Barnes explores alternatives to a career in law that attorneys should consider. It’s a well-known and unfortunate fact that the legal job market has dwindled, leaving thousands of attorneys fresh out of law school without jobs.


Barnes notes that many of the attorneys he personally knows who have chosen a nontraditional career were actually happier than they had been practicing law. Many also made more money!

The jobs included in the article do not require one to pass the bar exam. You’ll be a better candidate for these jobs simply because you have a law degree. Why would an attorney want to seek another sort of job? Barnes gives five reasons.

1. The Competition

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It’s extremely difficult to advance in the legal profession. Barnes explains that even the top graduates may have a hard time making partner or finding in-house jobs. Despite these facts, more and more students graduate from law school every few months, adding more applicants to the job pool. If you’re a very motivated person, it may be better to expend your efforts elsewhere with possibly greater reward.

2. You Won’t Change the World

Many attorneys daydream about triggering social change in the world. While this does happen, it’s far more likely that attorneys will work for the client who pays. After all, attorneys have to earn a living, too. Further, there are multiple factors at play that determine how a case turns out—including politics of the court.

3. You Won’t Make Millions of Dollars

Typically, you’ve got to work at a firm with over 101 attorneys to make the big bucks. Unfortunately, firms this size are the “1%” of the legal world. Instead, most attorneys work for small firms, the government, or other organizations for a lower salary.

4. It’s Not an Episode of Law and Order

The practice of law is simply not glamorous. Law and Order, The Good Wife, and hundreds of Dateline specials paint the practice of law as exciting and thrilling without a dull moment in sight. Wrong. These shows are for entertainment, so of course this is what they portray! In reality, most of an attorney’s day is spent at the computer while they draft documents and research the law.

5. The Billable Hour

Unfortunately, that beautiful 50-page brief you spent your nights and weekends on ultimately is not going to matter to your higher-ups: it’s how many hours you bill overall that matter. Your billable hours demonstrate your work ethic and your dedication to the firm. In fact, you can be expected to bill over 50 hours a week in some firms, which means you may have to work 60 or 70 hours a week. Bonuses, if any, will depend on the quality of your work.

For more information about career alternatives, check out the article 60 Nontraditional Jobs You Can Do with a Law Degree (and Should Strongly Consider Doing). You can also click on links to job postings for the 60 jobs listed.

The top 10 nontraditional jobs you can do with a law degree are:

  1. Politician
  2. Government Worker
  3. Arbitrator
  4. Law Professor
  5. Teacher
  6. Journalist
  7. Policy Analyst
  8. Salesperson
  9. Musician
  10. HR Director

Check out the article 60 Nontraditional Jobs You Can Do with a Law Degree (and Should Strongly Consider Doing) for the full list.

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