Anonymous User wrote:After clerking for a year in a trial level court, I've pretty much also settled on the fact that I don't want to be a lawyer. I know, the decision came late, but I fought off my doubt throughout school because I had great grades and all that. Would you mind me asking what type of non-law job you landed? I am K-JD and I'm finding it difficult to even know where to look for non-law jobs. I have applied to a few non-profits but haven't really gotten many bites. I'm particularly interested in education, if that helps. Also, what was your answer to "why don't you want to be a lawyer?" - I never know how to answer that and sound like I'm not just a flake. Anyone's advice would be great. Thanks.
Personally, I looked for non-law jobs and ended up with a job in consulting with a couple weeks to spare before graduation. I wanted to work in business, and this was a natural fit. You really need to find something where some aspect of your JD (coursework, critical thinking, reading, writing, research, etc.) will be an asset to the job, and then sell that. I started my search hoping people would just ignore the JD and interview me based on my undergraduate major, but I realized pretty quickly that the jobs that were the most receptive were ones were law school would help, even if they typically never hire JDs. As far as I know, the company I'll be working for had never hired someone straight out of law school, but I was able to package my experience in the right way that they understood all that I could bring to the table.
For why I didn't want to be an attorney, I mainly focused on a few key points, after refining my answer over and over again with the help of some mentors. Basically said I didn't think it allowed me to do as much creative thinking as I'd have liked (since arguments almost always need some basis in precedent/statutes), I didn't like the adversarial nature as much as I'd expected to (and consulting lets you work with, rather than against people), and that the only law school courses I actually enjoyed were the business courses that had less to do with law and more to do with negotiating, tax, etc.
Maybe not the best answer possible, but I tailored it based on what I actually believe and what I learned people would understand. You have to put yourself in their position and have an answer they'll understand despite never being in law school or being an attorney themselves. And you don't want them to ever be able to say, "You said you didn't want to be an attorney because you don't like X, well here at XYZ Corp we do things similar to X all the time." And if you don't believe what you're saying, and are just saying what you think they want to hear, they'll pick up on that quickly when they ask you some follow-up questions. So keep that in mind. Just ask yourself what don't you like about being a lawyer, tailor it to make it understandable, and go for it.