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Law school is no easy task, so any graduate should at least get the reward of doing what they want when they graduate. Well, welcome to reality—the dream job is not so common these days, at least not as we knew it before. Today, law grads have to be flexible and sometimes let go of what they planned so they can catch what is meant or available for them. Now, we catch dreams a bit more than achieving them. I am a testament to having a dream job I never actually dreamt. It can happen for so many of you. As someone with a law degree, you can do so many things, and you don’t have to be constrained by the cookie-cutter perceptions of business, litigation, and public defending. Those are necessary, and rewarding options but here are a few more:
By now, you all know where my loyalties lie. Public service is a great way to use your law degree without feeling like you are. You can analyze bills, counsel on current law, advise elected officials, administer hearings, facilitate procedure, and create the policy you and your fellow citizens live by. The options are endless…and so are the rewards.
This is part public service, and can be part corporate. Being a lobbyist requires you to persuade elected officials to implement the best public policies for your clients. These clients could be other public service entities—making you more of a legislative liaison, or they could be corporations, needing legislation to help them in a variety of ways. Lobbying is a great networking opportunity, and also allows for using your law degree in a nontraditional way.
Social Media Law
This is a bit of an obvious option, too. Clearly social media is a major player in our everyday lives, from social networks to just the simple email. Along with these new innovations come legal implications—and legal problems. Social media has created a host of new territory for J.D.s to get into. Someone has to know privacy laws, constitutional laws, intellectual property, and be on deck to create the new trends and practices created by our new daily constant. Why not you?
If you’ve stopped by my blog, you definitely know why I mentioned this one. Fashion law is an emerging niche in the legal profession, with new issues and cases every day. Fashion law not only accounts for intellectual property and business transactions, but fashion-specific matters like fashion show production and model labor issues. Because fashion is a billions-dollar industry and more than just the clothes you wear, lawyers in this field are a growing need with every new trend on—or off—the rack.
We hardly have a shortage of creative types, but we often see them in a place of concern when they need legal expertise. Be clear, everyone cannot be the attorney to the stars. However, you can be counsel to the starving artist in your neighborhood or a legal mind for your friends with a band. An artist serious about making their creative work prosper will relish in the reality of having a lawyer on hand.
Maybe you aren’t so excited about lesson plans or prepping for exams again, but being an adjunct professor gives you the chance to still live your daily legal life, yet also share your knowledge with others. Being on hand for a law school is great for your resume, and also provides the opportunity for you to be creative in your teaching. Many adjunct professors teach classes students are eager to take—with specialty topics and practical implications. Consider this a fun balancing act.
Health Policy Advisor
Policy advising of any kind is great for a Juris Doctor, but health policy is a major issue in today’s society. With the Affordable Care Act rolling out, and the greater call for mental health attention, using your law degree to help overall public health is a great option.
Local Legal Aid Counselor
This job would not only allow you to help your community and those in need, but also sharpen your skills in a variety of topics. So often, legal aid centers get a wide range of clients needing guidance for common issues. If you are a recent grad, this is the perfect way to build practical know-how, and experience the true essence of client counseling.
The list of options is endless, but these are some of the hottest at the current time. For more on what you can do with you law degree, check out these articles: