Many law students complete their degree before realising the futility of a career path as a barrister or solicitor but without implying that their legal education was wasted. More than some qualifications, a law degree opens wide doors to many sectors. Well-developed communication skills, a strong critical acumen, and technical knowledge is necessary to secure a law degree and also assists you in whatever field you enter after graduation. If studying law or thinking of studying it, review some more career paths that your degree can access.
A more conventional career as an advocate and barrister with another in a charitable organization or not-for-profit legal aid society, offers fulfilling work, representing the economically disadvantaged people, with pro bono work sometimes undertaken, by for-profit companies. For American students, PSJD is a good source of public interest opportunities. In the UK, legal aid has faced more restrictions in recent years, but still remains a worthwhile field for specialisation. Legal aid roles are advertised by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group among others.
Legal counsel is required in every branch of government and American students can explore multiple options available at the federal, local, and state levels to find roles that appeal to them. In the Washington, DC area, the Opportunities in Public Affairs, is a valuable source listing jobs on Capitol Hill in non-profits, think tanks, and government agencies. Vacancies range across numerous fields. Those in the UK may contact the Government Legal Service and its trainee scheme, as the Civil Service Fast Stream, offers 700 graduate-level positions annually in many government jobs which involve intensive job placements to equip participants for senior managerial roles in the civil service, and most are open to law grads.
Apart from government, law firms or corporate jobs, graduates with fresh law degrees may secure employment in the financial sector, for taxation, dedicated tax consultancy firms or chartered accountancy firms. Investment banks need legal professionals for regulatory roles and research while insurance firms need sound legal guidance on basic concepts such as underwriting, claims and pensions. This deep knowledge of law is sought across the financial sector, with no shortage of jobs for qualified lawyers. Law graduates seeking financial jobs could take modules / classes in accounting, tax law or similar subjects. An undergraduate major in these areas, is very beneficial for American students.
If you are already studying to attain a law degree, a range of online and print resources compiled by qualified lawyers such as Infolaw, LexisNexis, Westlaw, Lawbore and similar other knowledge platforms are available, which rely on content produced by their staff, as are legal news websites like Law.com, Legal Cheek, Jurist, the Law Society Gazette and others, besides many respected print and electronic journals for legal professionals, which employ writers and researchers with legal backgrounds. For graduates keen on journalism or publishing, these outlets provide a creative and fulfilling career.
Legal qualifications open doors and a law degree means you work diligently with a keen eye for detail to your job, and prospective employers need this. Entry-level jobs in corporates, teaching, accountancy and advertising are open to those with an undergraduate degree, while a law background is a valid entry point for many careers and you can gain relevant experience, through summer placements or internships. Tap into career resources offered by your college for securing placements, even after graduation.