What to Do With a Law Degree: 10 Cool Jobs for Law Grads

law degree jobs for law graduates.png

By: Michael Flannery

Thursday, July 20, 2023

What to Do With a Law Degree: 10 Cool Jobs for Law Grads

Prospective law students and law school graduates alike have wondered at some point what to do with a law degree. Receiving a juris doctorate from an accredited law school, passing the bar exam, and becoming a partner in a law firm is a common career path for many law graduates. But in today’s global market, having a law degree offers a multitude of alternative career opportunities that expand far beyond the traditional legal career. Survey data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that having a law degree is a key that opens many doors in a variety of alternative but related fields.

Not All Law Grads Become (or Stay) Lawyers

According to ABA Post-Graduate Employment Data, less than 80 percent of 2022 law school graduates were practicing law roughly ten months after graduation, with almost 10% taking JD Advantage Jobs which do not require bar passage. There are also many lawyers who transition into alternative jobs later in their career (like the one editing this post), where their legal training is still relevant and valuable.

For those who are considering making the leap, we’ve put together a top 10 list of job opportunities that are worth exploring. Just don’t forget to maintain your license by staying in compliance with your CLE requirements!

Our Top 10 Cool Jobs for Law Grads

1. Business Consultant

As a law school graduate with a law degree, your greatest asset is the unique and specialized training you received from your chosen JD program. Law grads with business training possess knowledge and marketable skills that many businesses and government agencies, such as the trademark office, desire. As a business consultant, you might advise companies on legal issues related to employee relations, commercial contracts, government regulations, industry compliance, tax planning, intellectual property, or other law-related issues. Every business deals with legal hurdles that require legal training to resolve. A professional consultant with a legal background has an advantage in today’s business market.  

2. Entrepreneur

Many start-up companies are based on creative ideas with great potential but just need that entrepreneurial mind to get them off the ground. One of the most critical steps in starting a business is creating the necessary corporate documents required by state or federal laws. Lawyers who understand corporate structure and compliance are highly sought after by many start-up companies. Many of the more than 200 accredited law schools in the country offer curricula focused on business and entrepreneurship.    

3. Legal Journalist

Effective legal journalism requires specialized insight on newsworthy legal topics and political issues. A background in law provides the effective communication skills and critical thinking that news outlets rely on. As a legal journalist, you may report on specific laws and cases, or the legal system and its process. You often synthesize complex legal issues and provide commentary or critique for the public or other legal professionals. For those who love to write or with a background in journalism, the legal field is a great subject on which to hone your skills.

4. Legal Marketer/Content Writer

Legal marketing is a growing area of law practice that deals with a law firm’s plan for business development, advertising, professional networking, web design, and social media presence. Content writers provide web content, blogs, newsletters, legal essays, and literature focused on specialized areas of law to attract new clients and increase revenue. Having a legal writer on staff to create and organize marketing content is an invaluable resource for small firms and solo practitioners who don’t have the time or the resources to develop the business side of their law practice.

5. Professor

If you have a more academic mindset, teaching law as a professor is a rewarding legal career choice. Legal education is important at every educational level–law school, graduate, undergraduate, and high school. Law faculties include full-time professors who teach, publish, and govern the institution on a full-time basis, and part-time adjuncts, who may only teach classes in their area of expertise. Law teaching is a perfect fix for those who love the law but not necessarily the often-frenetic pace of the law practice.   

6. Arbitrator

Serving as an arbitrator (or mediator or conciliator) is another way for skilled lawyers to apply their knowledge and expertise of the law outside of the traditional legal process. Arbitration is an alternative process for dispute resolution in which opposing parties agree to be bound by the decisions of an independent arbitrator to resolve their legal dispute privately instead of through the court system. Arbitrators essentially act like judges. They listen to both parties, evaluate evidence, apply the law, and resolve disputes. Arbitrators can be employed by government agencies or private parties and play a valuable role in dispute resolution.  

7. Human Resources Leader

Many lawyers transition from law practice to human resource leadership roles within companies. We tend to think of human resource personnel as strictly compliance officers. But human resource managers can specialize in developing employee relations and negotiating employee conflicts with management. A lawyer’s communication and problem solving skills can be a valuable asset for businesses that seek to resolve employment disputes internally and avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.   

8. Project Manager

A legal project manager serves to organize and streamline case management practices within a law firm. The goal is to improve the client’s experience and make the lawyer’s job more efficient and cost-effective. The skills required of a legal project manager include those needed to manage any project effectively: time management, foresight, organization, problem-solving, resource allocation, and innovation. These skills are simply directed to the specific needs of the law firm and its relationship with its clients. Not surprisingly, these are many of the skills developed in law school and in law practice, which is why project management is a popular alternative law degree job.

9. Legal Tech

The modern law practice is changing rapidly for large firms and solo practitioners alike. Throughout the industry, there is probably no role more critical to the modern law firm than that of the legal technician. Digital technology and electronic software integration is imperative in today’s legal market. Recent law grads with technology backgrounds are a hot commodity for more seasoned law firms and practitioners who must transition to advanced software systems to compete in the modern, tech-savvy legal market.   

10. PR Professional

No longer is it sufficient to just “hang out a shingle” and expect to develop a successful law practice. Today’s lawyer must access a variety of media outlets to be visible to the average consumer and to market their services competitively. This requires more than standard advertising practices. It requires a comprehensive and integrated public relations strategy that most practitioners don’t have the time or the skills to incorporate. This is where the legal public relations professional comes in. Combining a legal background with specialized marketing skills on various social media platforms is a resource every law firm is willing to pay for. Recent law grads and young lawyers looking to apply their digital technology skills in a practical way in the legal field will find a career as a legal PR profession to be a rewarding one. 

Michael T. Flannery is the Judge George Howard, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law. He served as Associate Dean for Faculty Development from 2014 to 2016, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2018 to 2020. He teaches Family Law, Decedents’ Estates and Trusts, The Prudent Investing of Trusts, The Sexual Exploitation of Children, Animal Law, and Sports Law. He served as a Special Judge for the 20th Judicial District of the State of Arkansas between 2008 and 2011. He also serves as a Legislative Expert Liaison for the Arkansas Bar Association’s Legislative Committee on Family Law. He was featured on National Public Radio as an “Agent of Change.” Professor Flannery has published numerous case books and law review articles. His research has been cited by courts throughout the country. He speaks regularly on various panel symposia and is a member of numerous bar associations and legal organizations.

This post was written by a guest blogger. Although this article was thoroughly reviewed by NBI staff, the views, opinions and positions expressed within the post are those of the author alone and do not represent those of NBI. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within the post are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.

Stay Up to Date

Get the latest on new content, products, special promotions, CLE news, and more!

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. We use this information in order to improve and customize your browsing experience, in addition to improving our internal analytics and metrics about our visitors. To find out more about the cookies we use, please see our Cookie Policy.