Careers outside traditional legal emploment

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.

Would you consider a career outside of traditional legal employment?

Yes
17
74%
No
6
26%
 
Total votes: 23

User avatar
timeandspace11
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:16 pm

Careers outside traditional legal emploment

Postby timeandspace11 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:17 pm

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/care ... tivee.html

This page on Harvard's website has some really interesting alternatives, for example working at a think tank or as Foreign Service Officer. Many of these positions obviously more likely would apply to those who want to work in public interest.

These jobs don't require law degrees, but having a law degree could definitely give you a competitive edge. I know a few people with law degrees who do not do traditional legal work, but use their skills for other purposes.

I just want to know if you all would ever consider working in a non traditional field. I imagine with the rough employment prospects it has at least crossed some of your minds.

User avatar
angrybird
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:15 am

Re: Careers outside traditional legal emploment

Postby angrybird » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:24 pm

take it from me, the ombudsman market is a slaughterhouse

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: Careers outside traditional legal emploment

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:25 pm

timeandspace11 wrote:http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/careers/opia/public-interest-law/practice-settings/alternativee.html

This page on Harvard's website has some really interesting alternatives, for example working at a think tank or as Foreign Service Officer. Many of these positions obviously more likely would apply to those who want to work in public interest.

These jobs don't require law degrees, but having a law degree could definitely give you a competitive edge. I know a few people with law degrees who do not do traditional legal work, but use their skills for other purposes.

I just want to know if you all would ever consider working in a non traditional field. I imagine with the rough employment prospects it has at least crossed some of your minds.


You generally need to fail the FSO exam 2-3 times before you even stand a chance of passing. Plus, they expect a minimal level of foreign language skills. I knew a law student who did it. He also had served in the army in the middle east for awhile before law school. The security clearance and language skills he got there helped him much more than the J.D.

The other jobs listed on the page are generally as laughable

Investigator/Criminal Investigator: Show me your criminal justice degree or law enforcement experience, plus maybe a CFE.

Environmental Protection Specialist: I want to see you bachelors in enviro engg or masters in enviro science.

Chief of Staff: I hope you did a lot of campaign work in 2008 and have been moonlighting during law school on the Hill.

Civil Rights Investigator: I'm pretty sure they aren't hiring these if they weren't hiring anyone for the civil rights DOJ honors slots.

Financial Enforcement Specialist: Ok, let's see you CPA or CFA + CFE.

Foreign Affairs Specialist: Again, language skills and security clearance.

Customs Inspector: Be ready to move to the middle of nowhere because that's where they're hiring.

Ethics Program Specialist: Have you interned at OSC/OGE/OPR? Like 10 people a year have and they're at the head of the line.

Law Librarian: Sure, with an MLS.

If it isn't clear. A law degree will not give you an edge for these jobs.

User avatar
angrybird
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:15 am

Re: Careers outside traditional legal emploment

Postby angrybird » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:27 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:Investigator/Criminal Investigator: Show me your criminal justice degree or law enforcement experience, plus maybe a CFE.

you don't need a degree:
Private Detective for Hire, specializing in missing persons and domestic issues. I’m not licensed, but maybe I’m someone who can help you.

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: Careers outside traditional legal emploment

Postby FlanAl » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:28 pm

from what I can tell, its really hard to ever be a lawyer after doing an untraditional job. I thought about how cool it would be to do the foreign service for a few years post law school and then return to the usa be a lawyer, unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

User avatar
AreJay711
Posts: 3406
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Careers outside traditional legal emploment

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:30 pm

I think most people would rather do that if they could rather than doing doc review or something. There is nothing wrong with taking a non-law job but usually there is just a better path than getting a JD if that is your goal.

User avatar
dailygrind
Posts: 19668
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:08 am

Re: Careers outside traditional legal emploment

Postby dailygrind » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:36 pm


Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Careers outside traditional legal emploment

Postby Renzo » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:53 pm

Jobs (other than "lawyer") where a JD is a benefit may exist, but they are exceedingly rare. Any alternative career path you might take was almost certainly available via a shorter, less expensive route than a JD.

Geon
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:10 am

Re: Careers outside traditional legal emploment

Postby Geon » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:53 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
timeandspace11 wrote:http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/careers/opia/public-interest-law/practice-settings/alternativee.html

This page on Harvard's website has some really interesting alternatives, for example working at a think tank or as Foreign Service Officer. Many of these positions obviously more likely would apply to those who want to work in public interest.

These jobs don't require law degrees, but having a law degree could definitely give you a competitive edge. I know a few people with law degrees who do not do traditional legal work, but use their skills for other purposes.

I just want to know if you all would ever consider working in a non traditional field. I imagine with the rough employment prospects it has at least crossed some of your minds.


You generally need to fail the FSO exam 2-3 times before you even stand a chance of passing. Plus, they expect a minimal level of foreign language skills. I knew a law student who did it. He also had served in the army in the middle east for awhile before law school. The security clearance and language skills he got there helped him much more than the J.D.

The other jobs listed on the page are generally as laughable

Investigator/Criminal Investigator: Show me your criminal justice degree or law enforcement experience, plus maybe a CFE.

Environmental Protection Specialist: I want to see you bachelors in enviro engg or masters in enviro science.

Chief of Staff: I hope you did a lot of campaign work in 2008 and have been moonlighting during law school on the Hill.

Civil Rights Investigator: I'm pretty sure they aren't hiring these if they weren't hiring anyone for the civil rights DOJ honors slots.

Financial Enforcement Specialist: Ok, let's see you CPA or CFA + CFE.

Foreign Affairs Specialist: Again, language skills and security clearance.

Customs Inspector: Be ready to move to the middle of nowhere because that's where they're hiring.

Ethics Program Specialist: Have you interned at OSC/OGE/OPR? Like 10 people a year have and they're at the head of the line.

Law Librarian: Sure, with an MLS.

If it isn't clear. A law degree will not give you an edge for these jobs.


LOL, that is precisely what I was thinking, with todays degree inflation you need a masters to do a job that will never require that level of thinking. A bachelor's in business administration use to be for the guys in mid level management, now an mba is used as an entry level degree practically unless its from a very high ranked school.




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