Alternative Careers for JDs

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gabbagabba
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby gabbagabba » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:40 pm

PLATONiC wrote: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.



BIG gamble; very expensive one too. If you pull it off, you're golden, if not, you're kinda screwed

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PLATONiC
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby PLATONiC » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:47 pm

gabbagabba wrote:
PLATONiC wrote: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.



BIG gamble; very expensive one too. If you pull it off, you're golden, if not, you're kinda screwed


I wish that I'm golden.

313D313
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby 313D313 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:02 pm

I think this is a very good post. I am not sure how many viable options there are outside law but they do exist. If your are already in law school i think discussing this with your professors would be best. I attended ASW for one of my top choices and had a very good discussion with a couple of professors and the asisstant dean about this. However, the main thing i got out of the conversation was you usually have to practice law for a bit and be good at it and that will offer you the different opportunties.

Anonymous User
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:09 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


I think everyone can agree that people shouldn't go to law school if they have no intention of becoming a lawyer. It is a waste of time and money. However, students might gradually determine throughout law school that the practice of law is not for them. Those people, along with people who want to be lawyers but can't find work, are in dire straits. The issue is not whether these people should have gone to law school or not; they clearly should have not gone to law school . The issue is, after the damage of wasting 3 years, what non-legal work options should these people hope to find?

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OGR3
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby OGR3 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I think everyone can agree that people shouldn't go to law school if they have no intention of becoming a lawyer. It is a waste of time and money. However, students might gradually determine throughout law school that the practice of law is not for them. Those people, along with people who want to be lawyers but can't find work, are in dire straits. The issue is not whether these people should have gone to law school or not; they clearly should have not gone to law school . The issue is, after the damage of wasting 3 years, what non-legal work options should these people hope to find?


Scamblog writer FTW.

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PLATONiC
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby PLATONiC » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
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


I think everyone can agree that people shouldn't go to law school if they have no intention of becoming a lawyer. It is a waste of time and money. However, students might gradually determine throughout law school that the practice of law is not for them. Those people, along with people who want to be lawyers but can't find work, are in dire straits. The issue is not whether these people should have gone to law school or not; they clearly should have not gone to law school . The issue is, after the damage of wasting 3 years, what non-legal work options should these people hope to find?


Here's one example:

http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/vcm ... king?id=99

But it's only open to those who already have legal experience.

ao32115
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby ao32115 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:08 pm

At least for corporate careers, the truth is that many companies are hesitant to hire someone with a law degree. They either think that you'll leave the first chance you get, or that there is something wrong with you individually since you're choosing not to become a lawyer (they don't understand the realities of a law graduate and why we might not want to become a lawyer). Some applicants don't even mention that they went to law school.

Alternatives & Repaying Loans
Might try a federal bureaucratic organization or a law enforcement agency (they'll actually value your law degree). For those who looking to pay off debts, keep in mind that Army/Navy will pay back government sponsored student loans "stafford, perkins, etc" up to $65,000 if you enlist for 4 years in a "critical" job. With the army, pretty much every job is critical while the navy only has 10-15 "critical, undermanned" jobs. This is what I personally did, as I knew at the end of my 1st year that I didn't want to be a lawyer but finished law school anyways, taking it easy my 2nd and 3rd years. Afterwards, I enlisted and right now am an Army EOD tech with a over a year left on my contract. Of course this road obviously isn't for everyone but the pros are that there are lot of "alternative" career options for a veteran with a law degree.

Apple Tree
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Apple Tree » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:59 am

JD + Master of Library Science (easy and inexpensive) = law librarian. I'm not sure how the job market for law librarian is specifically, but I know there is/going to be fairly large demand for librarians because many people in this profession are retiring in the near future.

Of course, if your goal is to make a lot money, this route isn't for you.

Renzo
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Renzo » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:28 pm

A JD is a liability, not an asset for getting a non-legal job. It will actually make it harder to get jobs you might otherwise be qualified for.

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dabomb75
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Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby dabomb75 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:38 pm

I've heard that getting a JD and then working in corporate law at a firm for 2-3 years, and then transferring into either consulting or I-banking is definitely possible for someone who realizes they hate law.

Sean1269
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:45 pm

Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby Sean1269 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:46 pm

Don't think of the JD as your degree that says you have some special skill programming C# or Java. The study of law isn't to learn a bunch of laws, you would probably get sued for malpractice if you practiced the law you learned in law school. The study of law is to learn how the rights and liabilities of society are intertwined, how to think like a lawyer.

That being said, there are alternative careers for JDs. But, as said before, you probably could have got those careers by taking a cheaper, less time consuming path. IMHO, the door for alternative careers for lawyers doesn't open up right out of law school, they open up 7-10 years later...

StacyStrong
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:41 pm

Re: Alternative Careers for JDs

Postby StacyStrong » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:08 pm

FBI




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