Alternative Careers for JDs

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Anonymous User
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Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:18 pm

ITE I am surprised there are not more threads on this topic. What sort of jobs are well suited for JDs who don't want to do legal work (or can't find legal employment)? I would think management consulting firms and government agencies would enjoy having JDs. For me, I am a 2L in the middle of the class at a T25. I received a big scholarship, so I won't have any significant debt when I graduate, nor do I have any significant desire to practice law; in other words, I'm open to ideas. I imagine there are many other students in a similar position. I would rather find an interesting non-legal job than graduate and work shit-law @ 40k per year. Any thoughts?

Crazy4lawzzz
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Crazy4lawzzz » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:22 pm

Yeah I wonder about this too? Are there any real Alt. JD Jobs? Or is this a myth

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Skipper2014
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Skipper2014 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:29 pm

My father is a VP at a major university where I'm from and has said lately that there is a lot of interest lately in hiring JDs in administration. If you're going for a higher level position they expect you to have some legal work under your belt, though. There's also the option of teaching undergrad but typically 1) they want you to have some graduate level work in your particular field (outside of your JD) and 2) the pay isn't going to be anything to be giddy about right away. So maybe those aren't really great options after all...but they're options.

TLSNYC
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby TLSNYC » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:31 pm

As an 0L, I don't have any personal experience on the matter, but I've heard a lot of JDs have applied to the presidential management fellows program. It looks competitive and interesting -- http://www.pmf.gov/

cubswin
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby cubswin » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:32 pm

IBTMcDonald's Picture

09042014
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby 09042014 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:33 pm

cubswin wrote:IBTMcDonald's Picture


Hamburger University doesn't make unprestigious lawl school grads.

gabbagabba
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby gabbagabba » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:25 pm

JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.

Crazy4lawzzz
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Crazy4lawzzz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:27 pm

gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


You can't get a law professor job without a JD. Boom

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Lawl Shcool » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:49 pm

Crazy4lawzzz wrote:
gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


You can't get a law professor job without a JD. Boom


Incorrect. My BA prof last semester only had a Phd.

Anonymous User
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:51 pm

Lawl Shcool wrote:
Crazy4lawzzz wrote:
gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


You can't get a law professor job without a JD. Boom


Incorrect. My BA prof last semester only had a Phd.


You can't get a civil procedure professor job with a JD.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Lawl Shcool » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Lawl Shcool wrote:
Crazy4lawzzz wrote:
gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


You can't get a law professor job without a JD. Boom


Incorrect. My BA prof last semester only had a Phd.


You can't get a civil procedure professor job with a JD.


I'll give you that one.

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snowpeach06
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby snowpeach06 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:03 pm

You can work on the hill. A lot of legislative assistants and politicians have a JD.

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Knock
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Knock » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:07 pm

TLSNYC wrote:As an 0L, I don't have any personal experience on the matter, but I've heard a lot of JDs have applied to the presidential management fellows program. It looks competitive and interesting -- http://www.pmf.gov/


What's the presidential management fellows program?

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iagolives
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby iagolives » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:21 pm

gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


+1

I will never understand why so many people think that a JD is just a general "I am smart but don't like medicine" degree that suits them to follow whatever special little rainbow suits them. If someone went up to you and said, "I want to make cupcakes for a living, so I'm getting an architecture degree!" or "I want to write travel guides; I'm going to get a PhD in physics!" you would hit them on the head or at least look at them bizarrely. But, somehow, the fact that a small fraction of JDs have done non-law related things at some point in their career is CONCRETE PROOF that a JD suits you to be anything. It's absurd.

I wish someone would have given me the following advice: If you see yourself practicing law in 5-10 years, go to law school. If not, don't. It's the most spot on thing I could say to any 0L out there.

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OGR3
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby OGR3 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:25 pm

iagolives wrote:
gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


+1

I will never understand why so many people think that a JD is just a general "I am smart but don't like medicine" degree that suits them to follow whatever special little rainbow suits them. If someone went up to you and said, "I want to make cupcakes for a living, so I'm getting an architecture degree!" or "I want to write travel guides; I'm going to get a PhD in physics!" you would hit them on the head or at least look at them bizarrely. But, somehow, the fact that a small fraction of JDs have done non-law related things at some point in their career is CONCRETE PROOF that a JD suits you to be anything. It's absurd.

I wish someone would have given me the following advice: If you see yourself practicing law in 5-10 years, go to law school. If not, don't. It's the most spot on thing I could say to any 0L out there.


Architecture may not be a good degree for making cupcakes, but it seems a JD is perfect:

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/09/is-the-l ... the-dough/

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:27 pm

OGR3 wrote:
iagolives wrote:
gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


+1

I will never understand why so many people think that a JD is just a general "I am smart but don't like medicine" degree that suits them to follow whatever special little rainbow suits them. If someone went up to you and said, "I want to make cupcakes for a living, so I'm getting an architecture degree!" or "I want to write travel guides; I'm going to get a PhD in physics!" you would hit them on the head or at least look at them bizarrely. But, somehow, the fact that a small fraction of JDs have done non-law related things at some point in their career is CONCRETE PROOF that a JD suits you to be anything. It's absurd.

I wish someone would have given me the following advice: If you see yourself practicing law in 5-10 years, go to law school. If not, don't. It's the most spot on thing I could say to any 0L out there.


Architecture may not be a good degree for making cupcakes, but it seems a JD is perfect:

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/09/is-the-l ... the-dough/


I wouldn't be too sure...
http://abovethelaw.com/?s=cupcake

Anonymous User
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:12 pm

gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


You are missing the point. Anybody can see that it is inefficient to go to law school for 3 years and not become a lawyer. Regardless of whether the 3 years is a bad choice or not, the fact remains that many JDs have gone through the 3 years and will not be able to find legal work or will not want to pursue legal work. Instead of falling into a sea of apathy after listening to sardonic comments such as "you pretty much wasted 3 yrs of your life", many law students could benefit from an honest discussion about the options available to them. Additionally, while the majority of skills learned in law school are applied in a specific legal context, the fact remains that law school cultivates a students ability to reason and be persuasive. These skills are valuable in many settings outside of legal practice. So, the question remains largely unexplored, what sorts of non-legal careers are well suited for a JD?

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:15 pm

iagolives wrote:
gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


+1

I will never understand why so many people think that a JD is just a general "I am smart but don't like medicine" degree that suits them to follow whatever special little rainbow suits them. If someone went up to you and said, "I want to make cupcakes for a living, so I'm getting an architecture degree!" or "I want to write travel guides; I'm going to get a PhD in physics!" you would hit them on the head or at least look at them bizarrely. But, somehow, the fact that a small fraction of JDs have done non-law related things at some point in their career is CONCRETE PROOF that a JD suits you to be anything. It's absurd.

I wish someone would have given me the following advice: If you see yourself practicing law in 5-10 years, go to law school. If not, don't. It's the most spot on thing I could say to any 0L out there.


Yup. +1 Took the words out of my mouth

Fark-o-vision
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Fark-o-vision » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:27 pm

I've heard a lot of different things, from consulting to human resources jobs. Also, FBI is big on law students from what I gather.

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FlanAl
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby FlanAl » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:44 pm

http://www.amazon.com/What-Can-You-Law- ... 534&sr=8-2

after a quick amazon search there are tons of books just like this. Another reason why many people might feel like working outside the law with a jd is possible is because a lot of people do it. Almost every grown person who hears that I'll be going to law school always wants to let me know how many things I can do with a law degree. Sure its anecdotal evidence but a whole lot of people in business etc. (I say etc because I don't know exactly what they all do) will tell you about a colleague who they love who has a jd.

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OGR3
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby OGR3 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:59 pm

FlanAl wrote:http://www.amazon.com/What-Can-You-Law-Degree/dp/094067551X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1300066534&sr=8-2

after a quick amazon search there are tons of books just like this. Another reason why many people might feel like working outside the law with a jd is possible is because a lot of people do it. Almost every grown person who hears that I'll be going to law school always wants to let me know how many things I can do with a law degree. Sure its anecdotal evidence but a whole lot of people in business etc. (I say etc because I don't know exactly what they all do) will tell you about a colleague who they love who has a jd.


There's a difference between a practicing lawyer seeking a career outside of law and someone going to law school with no intent of practicing law.

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FlanAl
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby FlanAl » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:22 pm

definitely get that and actually thought about it a little bit after I posted but I feel like some of these books might be a decent start. Also OP if you know anyone who has a jd but isn't a lawyer you should get in touch with them and see what their career path was.

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PLATONiC
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby PLATONiC » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:24 pm

What I want to know is how the heck did Lloyd Blankfien end up as CEO of Goldman Sachs with just a JD.

gabbagabba
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby gabbagabba » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


You are missing the point. Anybody can see that it is inefficient to go to law school for 3 years and not become a lawyer. Regardless of whether the 3 years is a bad choice or not, the fact remains that many JDs have gone through the 3 years and will not be able to find legal work or will not want to pursue legal work. Instead of falling into a sea of apathy after listening to sardonic comments such as "you pretty much wasted 3 yrs of your life", many law students could benefit from an honest discussion about the options available to them. Additionally, while the majority of skills learned in law school are applied in a specific legal context, the fact remains that law school cultivates a students ability to reason and be persuasive. These skills are valuable in many settings outside of legal practice. So, the question remains largely unexplored, what sorts of non-legal careers are well suited for a JD?


OP said he didn't want to practice law - if that's the case, he wasted 3 yrs of his life. There are better ways of "cultivating an ability to reason and be persuasive" that don't involve 3 yrs and over $150,000 of debt

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PLATONiC
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby PLATONiC » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:37 pm

gabbagabba wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
gabbagabba wrote:JD degree is only useful for legal jobs; anything else, and it's a job you could've gotten without the debt if you had worked right out of college for those wasted 3 yrs.

If you don't have any interest in practicing law, you pretty much just wasted 3 yrs of your life that could've been spent gaining useful skills in another field.


You are missing the point. Anybody can see that it is inefficient to go to law school for 3 years and not become a lawyer. Regardless of whether the 3 years is a bad choice or not, the fact remains that many JDs have gone through the 3 years and will not be able to find legal work or will not want to pursue legal work. Instead of falling into a sea of apathy after listening to sardonic comments such as "you pretty much wasted 3 yrs of your life", many law students could benefit from an honest discussion about the options available to them. Additionally, while the majority of skills learned in law school are applied in a specific legal context, the fact remains that law school cultivates a students ability to reason and be persuasive. These skills are valuable in many settings outside of legal practice. So, the question remains largely unexplored, what sorts of non-legal careers are well suited for a JD?


OP said he didn't want to practice law - if that's the case, he wasted 3 yrs of his life. There are better ways of "cultivating an ability to reason and be persuasive" that don't involve 3 yrs and over $150,000 of debt


+ 1. I don't think spending three years of your life in law school + another five to ten more years of paying off debt is worth it if you're not even interested in practicing law.

On a side note: For me, I'm interested in practicing law, but only with a huge qualification: What is your opinion about people who are only interested in making $150,000 after finishing their JDs? For me, it's either I make biglaw, or I just go to an alternative career.




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