You worked long and hard for your law degree. Maybe you’re a recent graduate who can’t find a job in the field, or a disillusioned practitioner who’s ready for a career change. No matter the position or years from graduation, the hours you spent studying and the sleep deprivation are permanently etched into your memory. Thankfully, there are still a lot of options for people who have a law degree, but are no longer interested in practicing. Consider one of these lawyer career change ideas:
1. HR Director or Manager
Certain sub-specialties of the law, like employment and labor law, require in-depth knowledge of legislation pertaining to civil rights as well as the numerous federal regulations that surround fair employment practices. Since an HR manager plans, implements, and evaluates human resource policies in accordance with these laws, it seems like a natural fit. Being an HR director requires being able to meet strict deadlines, attention to details, and immense organizational skill – natural to most of those practicing law. HR professionals also ensure a company’s legal compliance and implement regulations at the state and federal level. It’s an ideal lawyer career change for those with a background in employment law.
2. Project Manager
As the name implies, a project manager is in charge of keeping a project on track by planning, evaluating, and organizing a series of activities that guide it to completion. The project manager is accountable for the end result, from start to finish. That means you’re in charge of staffing, developing and adhering to a timeline, budgeting, and handling the unexpected. Essentially, you’re the middleman between the stakeholders and the members of your team. Project managers exist in a variety of industries, from technology to consumer goods, research, professional services, and more.
This may be a good fit for a practicing attorney who enjoys mentoring and likes the pressure of working under a deadline. It effectively allows you to pursue other interests (like technology and R&D) while still using the essential aspects of your law degree.
3. Journalist or Content Writer
If you love to write, your background in law provides a certain level of credibility for journalism. Much of the news focuses on legal issues, from criminal trials to civil rights issues. Consider being a correspondent for a local news channel and lending your expertise to the legal issues of the day. It can be an ideal fit for a younger attorney who loves to write and engage with others, and is perhaps tired of writing an endless cycle of briefs and memos. Content writing can be another flexible option for those who struggle to find full-time employment after graduating from law school. Both positions require attention to detail and appealing to a broad audience.
You’ll find a lot of lawyer career change advice online, but not all of it is realistic. These options provide a way to use your skills, all while making a decent living. Others allow you to supplement your income while still practicing law.