20 Great Non-Lawyer Jobs for Law School Grads

Law student looking pensive while holding an open book in a library.

There are a huge number of people who have a law degree and yet work in non-traditional careers. Many people are happier in such roles rather than they would be while practicing law. Although, being a lawyer can be a lucrative endeavor with salaries averaging 130,000 per year, they may even end up making more money than they would as an attorney.

The biggest problem of practicing law as a lawyer is that there are too many attorneys chasing after the handful in-counsel and partnership jobs. There is so much competition in the job market that it makes a lot of sense to choose a non-legal career path. The best thing about the jobs listed below is that having a law degree will definitely give you an advantage in the career path. You will also be able to go in these jobs without passing the much-dreaded bar exam.

Civil Rights Investigator Sculpture of Martin Luther King

There are many people who would love the triumphs and trials of social work as a civil rights investigator. For a career in this field, you will need to relate with all kinds of people. This job will also involve a lot of research and investigation into how individuals are treated under the law. There have been many civil rights laws that have been legislated and enacted since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. You will need to study these legislating and need to fight for those who are discriminated under these laws.

Law Firm AdministratorBehind the scenes in a law firm.

Administrative support in law offices is perfect for those who are eager to work in a legal office but not go for an attorney position. You will have to organize meetings, accommodate clients, and manage schedules. Your legal background will make it easier for you to generally understand how the law works so that you can prepare for legal correspondence and help prepare reports.

Law LibrarianMan in suit reading a book in a law library.

A job as a law librarian is perfect if you are fascinated with the literary aspect of law and the legal code.  As a law librarian, you will deal with the organization of cases and legal codes. Even though law libraries are becoming less common within firms, the role of the law librarian has increased. This is because they act as a catalyst in discovering precedent. With your law degree, it can be easier for you to conduct research into legislative history and public records.

Law ProfessorLaw Professor

A profession as a law professor comes with a need for the love of research and writing. It can be one of the most interesting non-legal options for you. It may come as a surprise but this job isn’t primarily about teaching. Even though teaching is an essential part, the main part is researching and writing about different laws. However, the normal responsibilities of a professor do apply to this job including grading, lecturing, holding office hours and more. As a law professor, you will also be assigning cases for the student to try and train them to be lawyers.

If you are one of those people who enjoy perfecting manuscripts then this is the job for you! You will have to determine if the manuscript is useful and will acquire an audience. Once that is determined, you will have to make a decision on how to present the information. You will need a good sense of detail and writing to edit and proofread the material for legal publication. With a law degree, it will be easier for you to go over the jargons and language.

Legal recruiters’ main job is to work as a human resource professional within the legal world. This involves helping other people land a job in the difficult job market of the law industry. You will also need to learn how to recruit possible clients, interact with other firms, and work well with the employees in your firm. You will have the option to work with recruitment firms or open your own individual practice.

Career Counselor for Law SchoolCareer Counselor with student

Most law schools in the country offer career counseling as part of their benefits program. This helps students transition into the next phase of their life after completing their degree. As a career counselor, you can direct fresh talent into the best possible direction so that they can succeed. This will help them prepare for the difficult task of securing a good job that will help further their career in their chosen field. You will need to bolster confidence among the students and provide them with real opportunities in life. The best way is to be transparent with them so that they can head in the right direction and attain job satisfaction.

If you are someone who enjoys the intricate writing style that pertains to law then you will definitely enjoy this field. Law writing is really different from other types of writing styles since it has a tight language and specific jargons. This will include the task of teaching, preparing lessons, grading papers, and more. You will also need a good understanding of legal writing and fluency.

Paralegal Instructor

A paralegal instructor is a job for someone who loves to encourage others to develop the skills they require to succeed in their chosen careers. You will need to know a lot about the roles of a paralegal, as well as have the responsibilities of teaching a course, developing lesson plans, grading papers and more. However, unlike law professors, you won’t have any pressure to publish in law journals after a long period of researching and writing. You will also have the freedom to relocate yourself as you can even teach in the community colleges.

State Bar AdministratorStudents taking an exam.

If you want to work on the J.D. level or with fresh minds who want to make a career in the law industry, a degree as a state bar administrator will be perfect for you. This is a rite of passage that every lawyer must go through and you can help make it a reality.

If you want to be part of something glamorous, a job as a Hollywood legal consultant can be quite perfect. There are countless legal TV shows and movies being produced each year and you can be part of that process. You can help consult the shows and movies to make them more realistic for the audience. This job will require you to work with writers of the show, as well as directors and actors to guide them on how the legal system works. You will have to interact with lots of people and have a sense of detail so that you can guide everyone involved in a better way.

AnalystMan standing in front of a virtual screen.

Business analysts play a crucial role in keeping the company up-to-date and at the cutting edge. They play a huge role in monitoring and planning company innovations. They also help organize and understand how the company can expand and grow into new territories. You must be able to ensure that people from all over the organization work well with you and each other. This includes facilitators, stakeholders, and partners so you will have to use legal authority and language.

ArbitratorArbitrator with a client

Arbitration is usually overseen by judges and lawyers. They oversee disputed issues and review other facts to render a solution between parties as an impartial third party. Arbitrators are in charge of interviewing witnesses and parties to get to the bottom of the situation so that they can make a balanced decision. Even though normally this task is done by someone who has passed the bar but that is not necessary for this field.

AuthorA woman looking pensive while biting a pen and holding a notebook in front of a laptop.

Your background in law will train you for reading and other dry stuff that may come with writing a novel. Whether you write expository or fiction, you will have a good time in the novel-writing profession. It can be a fun switch from the strict and busy schedule that legal jobs require. It may be different to break into a genre but your law background may help you become the next John Grisham.

Chief Executive OfficerChief Executive Officer standing in the middle of a business meeting.

Positions of CEO are coveted position and for good reason. They are the brains behind profitable organizations and thus get more PR. Their job is to enhance the value of the business and deal with managers, a board of directors, and act as a central communication tool that keeps the business running. Your degree in law may make you perfect for this job since it trains you to focus on the structure and be aware of all the cooperate laws that the company has to adhere to.

Legislative AnalystAn open laptop with a paper and pen beside a pile of books.

Government institutions and officials, private companies, service agencies, and NGOs need a legislative analyst. These employees monitor the new policies and activities by federal, state and local companies that may impact their stakeholders. Depending on the purpose of the organization, you will be focusing on particular types of legislation. For example, if you are working in Planned Parenthood as a legislative analyst then you will have to particularly look at healthcare and abortion legislation.

Your main responsibility will be to examine how different legislative initiatives affect the organization. For example, if the law makes it harder to get birth control then Planned Parenthood would not be able to distribute birth control to women effectively. The impact of the legislation will take extensive research, so you must enjoy tasks like that. You will also have to contact different experts to get their opinions and research in addition to conducting meetings with different government officials and executives in the industry.

Broadcast JournalismBehind the scenes of a TV newsroom.

There are many people in the news media, like Cynthia McFadden and Jeff Greenfield, who have graduated from law schools. You will be able to utilize your law degree to effective use since you can analyze the ramifications of new policies and legislation. You will also have a practice of synthesizing ideas and information, as well as communicate it effectively to the audience tuning in to watch you.

You will need qualities of reasonable judgment, analytical skills, research skills, and social skills to become a broadcast journalist.

There are many different responsibilities that a legal operations manager has to look after. This is largely dependent on which department and business you choose to work at. You will have to manage vendors and outside counsel, as well as oversee the budgeting and staffing of the department you are handling. You may even have to overlook technology changes in the department like e-contracts or e-billing. You will need strong leadership and organizational skills and sense personal accountability.

PoliticianBarack Obama waving his hand with the USA flag as a backdrop.

Since 1945, around one-third of all US Senate seats have been held by lawyers. There are many famous politicians like President Obama, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and James Madison who all graduated with law degrees.

Law school can teach a person how to make persuasive, strong arguments to win a case. This can come in handy when you are trying to pursue different crowds to vote for you. Legal work also hones your analytical and problem-solving skills which can be really important in a role as a politician.

JournalismWriting on a notebook in front of a laptop surrounded by a cup of coffee, a camera, and a shades.

To become a journalist you need to have command over effective communication through writing. Lawyers are often trained in writing skills since they have to write a lot of briefs, articles, and reports during their time at law school. The biggest difference between journalism and practicing law is the difference in time commitment that you have to practice. At law firms, you can enjoy having flexible hours. With journalism, the situation and stories around you control your time. For a job in journalism, you need skills of time management, writing, creative expression, investigation, and researching.

Law school can be an enriching experience for many students but there are many ways to utilize your law degree. It is important to make sure you pursue a career that is best for you!

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