Whether you have just graduated, or you have been practicing law for many years, you may find yourself wondering where you want to be in a few years’ time. After all, a law degree is extremely versatile, and open doors to an impressive array of potential career paths.
Yet competition is fierce. In fact, in 2016, over 20,000 students were accepted onto undergraduate law courses in England and Wales. In the same year, the SRA registered more than 5,000 new traineeships, and over 6,000 qualified solicitors were added to the roll.
To get to where you are today, you have already put in countless hours, and demonstrated that you have the determination, conviction, and intellect to excel in the field of your choice. Yet that does not necessarily mean you plan to become a solicitor. The skills you develop during law studies, and throughout your career within your chosen legal sector, are immensely transferable.
So if you are looking for a change of pace, or you have your sights set on a career that takes you beyond the traditional fields occupied by law graduates, here are a few ideas that you may want to explore.
1. Legal Recruiter
Working for a recruitment firm is a great way to apply your skills to a new discipline, while remaining within the legal sector. This career path is best suited to an experienced lawyer who knows what to look for in an employee, and is able to determine when a potential recruit might be a good fit for a firm.
Within this role, you can also act in advisory capacity to employers and recruits alike. Your knowledge and input can be instrumental in shaping the future of these individuals, and helping them to assemble cohesive teams with complementary skills and compatible aspirations.
2. Project Manager
Project management roles require excellent planning, leadership, and time management skills. You will also benefit from being the sort of person who thrives under pressure, and can readily influence and inspire their team. This type of career path would be ideally suited to a lawyer who loves seeing things through to completion, and feels confident juggling multiple responsibilities.
Depending on the industry you enter, projects could include anything from the delivery of a marketing campaign, to the installation of a new security system. However, while specialist knowledge will be required, the core skills of a successful project manager remain the same.
Your role would be to plan, budget for, and oversee a proposed objective from start to finish. This includes setting timescales for delivery, predicting and making provisions for setbacks, assigning roles to your team, and even overseeing the development of team members’ careers.
3. Business Developer
The core aim of a business developer is to increase the profitability of a business. This can include anything from developing new products, identifying and targeting profitable niches, or even exploring partnerships with other organisations.
Your knowledge of legal expectations and compliance regulations will also come into play here, as they will enable you to more accurately weigh up the viability of an idea, identify potential stumbling blocks, and find suitable workarounds.
A lawyer with a keen eye for detail and commitment to research and development could excel in this position. Strong interpersonal skills and good recall are also a bonus, as you will need to negotiate with potential clients, identify key demographics, and retain a comprehensive knowledge of the products and services offered by your business.
4. Marketing Director
The ability to think outside the box and deliver on ambitious projects carries over perfectly to a career in marketing. Your job would also encompass all aspects of content planning and delivery, and the creation of a coherent marketing strategy that integrates each part of your campaign into a cohesive whole.
Some of the areas you are likely to cover in the role of marketing director include:
- Creation and distribution of video content.
- Conducting market research and interpreting the results.
- Creating non-linear and experiential marketing campaigns.
- Facilitating localisation.
- Promoting and developing brands.
- Integrating social media and influencer marketing into your campaigns.
Ultimately, your role is to plan and oversee the marketing strategy for an organisation. This means setting realistic budgets, creating a calendar of events and campaigns, and keeping your finger firmly on the pulse of the industry.
Along the way, you will also need to be aware of what the competition is up to, while simultaneously monitoring and optimising the performance of your own campaigns. This career lends itself well to a highly driven individual who wants a change of scene.
By choosing a career path that suits your lifestyle and aspirations, you will be able to play to your strengths
Naturally, your legal background will still be useful, as it can inform your decisions on everything from protecting your intellectual property, to ensuring your campaigns are compliant with legal requirements in all areas.
5. Content Creator
For recent graduates, or those looking for a lower pressure career, content creation could be the way forward. Your ability to conduct in-depth research, understand complex topics, and create high-quality written material will all benefit you in this line of work.
You might decide to set up your own business, or take on freelance contracts through existing agencies. Whatever you decide, working as a content creator can give you some flexibility to your working hours that is lacking in many of the other career paths listed here.
This can be especially beneficial if you have personal commitments, travel often, or are planning to start a family. It even serves as a fantastic means of sustaining an income while undertaking training for new disciplines.
Meanwhile, this line of work can be extremely rewarding in its own right, and gives you the opportunity to learn about a wide range of topics that you may not have previously considered.
As you develop your knowledge of digital marketing best practices, SEO optimisation, and content delivery, you will also be creating a firm foundation upon which you could build a career in marketing consultancy, content management, or as an ecommerce entrepreneur.
6. Investment Advisor
A lawyer with a background in financial or business law may be especially well suited to a career as an investment advisor. Your role could see you supporting budding entrepreneurs as they set out their budgets and business plans for a new startup, or advising growing enterprises on how and where to invest their assets.
This career path can be more or less as broad or focused as you choose. Some investment advisors offer their services as a complete review of their clients’ financial behaviour. Meanwhile, others offer specialist advice on a particular type of investment.
For example, you might choose to hone your expertise on marketing ROI. Alternatively, you might decide to specialise in a field such as capital investment, with the potential to lead into a career in business development, if you choose to branch out further in the future.
Ultimately, the key to finding an alternative career path is to focus on options that you can envision yourself enjoying. After all, success depends not only on your determination and commitment, but on your personal well-being.
By choosing a career path that suits your lifestyle and aspirations, you will be able to play to your strengths, and be happier in your work overall. As a result, you allow yourself the potential to reach even greater heights, while pursuing a future within the industry and sector of your choice.
Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing expert who loves to help businesses grow. She’s also a freelance writer and runs her own blog at VictoriaEcommerce. Big advocate of creative content marketing and making the most of social media.