Dan Garner – The pandemic and increasing law career options mean more lawyers than ever are seeking non-law careers, a law degree providing an ideal base for developing work in a wide range of fields, but there are some developing areas of opportunity for lawyers, with seven we have identified below.
We have written on LawFuel about non-traditional ‘legal careers’ before but now the options and the opportunities have changed.
Legal blog LegalCheek reported about their survey that showed out of over 500 law students, 81 per cent were open to a career other than law. Over half of those surveyed were undergraduate law students.
So what were the options they were interested in?
Almost 60 per cent were interested in some form of business, like business consulting or management. Accordingly, the open arms of major consultancies like Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and EY, along with the big consultancies like Accenture, Bain & Co, Cambridge Consulting and others.
Public sector work took up the bulk of the rest with others seeking roles in journalism and public relations.
Academic roles took some interest, along with legal technology.
The Big Law Entree
Many seeking to enter large law firms use the training contract entree, however many are using graduate schemes that provide an ideal way to commence a career in law. Many of the larger firms, as they diversify themselves, will also provide career options for lawyers to work more in the business side of law without qualifying as solicitors.
7 Other ‘Non Law’ Career Options for Lawyers
Among the developing non-legal non-traditional career options for lawyers that have developed in recent years are seven top options:
Communications roles continue to grow and lawyers are ideal candidates for working in them. The growth in digital media means that most lawyers, principally millennials, can use their communication and legal skills to develop new careers in an exciting and developing arena.
2. Policy Advisors to Government
The development of roles in public law has created a demand for large teams of people with some legal background to develop policy and regulatory advice to local and central or federal government.
The spread of work in this area includes work in everything from financial and resources work to justice, human rights, competition and just about every other aspect of public life.
3. Content Writing
Content writing has become a major area of social media involvement and lawyers’ traditional writing skills are to the fore here with the ability to work as content writers.
You can choose to work in-house, at marketing or advertising agencies or as a freelancer. Online jobs sites permit a quick access to content writing roles where your skills can be developed.
4. Regulatory Investigator
Regulatory investigation work is another key, alternative career option for lawyers with government agencies using large investigative teams to conduct work ranging from criminal enquiries to policy and other matters affecting public life, financial affairs, police matters, tax and environmental matters.
5. Insurance & Risk Management
Insurance work provides a wide range of opportunities for lawyers, along with risk management work, which involves the idenfification and evaluation of project risks. A risk manager will help determine any potential impact and help companies eliminate or minimize any risks. Using their analytical and critical thinking skills, they assess a variety of risks, including strategic risks, compliance risks and reputational risks.
6. Selling IT and LegalTech
Selling IT products, prarticularly in legaltech areas is something that lawyers with an IT-bent and an interest in potentially generating large incomes provides substantial attractions. Learning and specialising in some of these areas by attending legaltech fairs, reading legaltech magazine and websites and seeing what is on offer is a good place to start and to see what products are being sold and how they stand in the legal marketplace.
Alternatively, the IT space generally can provide huge opportunities for lawyers who work in either a sales capacity or as advisors and consultants.
7. Consultancy Work
Consultancy work incorporates a wide range of activities, from financial and regulatory to contract, property and personal consultancy. However the key attributes are that having a legal background and knowledge can prove invaluable to those seeking to develop a professional role for private or public clients. The growth of global consultancies, and indeed the development of many law firms too in this area, demonstrates the ongoing demand for extra-legal consultancy service.
The non-law career opportunities for lawyers continue to expand just as the pandemic creates a re-drawing of many, traditional career paths for lawyers and others.
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