Alternative Legal Careers

  • Not all law school graduates are traditional lawyers who pursue the practice of law. In some cases, graduates opt for careers in which their Juris Doctor degree will advance them in other industries. A Juris Doctor degree offers a wealth of transferable skills including the ability to research and analyze complex issues, to draft persuasive and concise documents, to communicate easily with many different people, and to debate with precision and clarity. A law degree is valuable for any position.

    Knowing all this, you may be asking yourself, “Why pursue a law degree if you aren’t going to practice law?” Imagine how much easier it is to read a new statute you will use every day if you have had course work in the construction of laws. Or consider your understanding of a corporation’s responsibilities to its shareholders if you have had a corporate law class. Your learning curve in a career that uses the law will be much smaller than that of a candidate without a law degree. Some of the choices made by recent Capital graduates include teaching, consulting, human resource management, politics including elected office, and general business, all of which utilize the skills of a J.D. graduate.

    Of course, if you are choosing to earn a law degree to pursue an alternative career, it’s important to consider what your interests and options are well before you step foot in law school and assume law school debt. Be sure to investigate your ideas and areas of interest thoroughly. To assist you, consider reading, Should You Really Be a Lawyer: The Guide to Smart Career Choices Before, During & After Law School by Deborah Schneider, JD & Gary Belsky.