Having a law career does not mean you have to be a lawyer and now, more than ever, there are multiple opportunities for lawyers who do not seek to practice law but are looking for a law career pathway beyond getting behind a desk with a law firm.
Career opportunities for those with a law degree abound. But for those seeking something other than a legal career, they need to not only consider what law pathway there is beyond the traditional law firm, but also do some analysis of what they are actually looking for in terms of a career.
For instance, a close consideration of your own skills and passions are a key element to developing a job that will combine your legal background with your desire to pursue an area of particular interest. The merger of interests is key to finding the right career opportunity you seek when moving away from (or avoiding in the first place) the law firm or in-house legal role.
The legal field itself continues to develop and expand with areas like climate law, cannabis regulation, gaming and more. The job site Indeed recently outlined 60 such jobs, many of which are heavily law-related but many are also delving into new career opportunities that are heralded by a ‘legal career’, but represent something quite different from what we may think.
And the law career avenues that are open to those with law degrees, or partial law degrees, was also outlined in this USNews & World Report article.
Many of the standard areas of legal practice were identified (anti trust, regulatory, maritime, litigation and so forth) but there were also developing and lesser known areas of law practice that emerge and have been shown in another article on law career pathway developments and reported in Clio.
Emerging Areas of Law
Among the newer, exciting areas of law practice that are fast growing are the following are some that offer a high level of focus upon interesting areas of law that are also developing along with different business and economic areas.
- Blockchain – a ground floor opportunity exists for those willing to step into this increasingly utilized and functional area that presents fear and trepidation for many, but opportunity and profits for others;
- Cybercrime – the growth in ransomware attacks, scamming software and other developments make this an area that continues to hold huge interest and appeal for lawyers prepared to become experts in the cybercrime arena;
- Cannabis law – the deregulation of cannabis in many jurisdictions, combined with medicinal cannabis use and related issues make this a hot area of legal activity;
- Compliance and regulatory – increased state and global regulatory regime across the board from multinational corporate compliance to local level regulatory issues make regulatory law a key area of legal interest and growth;
- Drones – the aviation law area continues to expand and the ongoing development of drones and drone technology makes the legal issues and regulatory and related issues around drones a key area of growth;
- Elder law – a growing number of baby boomers and a booming retirement home industry combined with people living longer and requiring specialist assistance in a variety of ways makes this a massive growth area;
- Gaming law – gaming business is a massive and fast-growing industry requiring a wide range of legal and law-related knowledge to assist in the the technical, entertainment and compliance issues affecting this key legal career area;
- Technology & app development – technology law continues to expand rapidly and the vast array of technical and legal expertise required by startup enterprises, existing businesses and others provide huge career opportunities for anyone with an interest in the area and a legal skillset.
Other Jobs You Can Do With a Law Degree (That You Never Thought Of)
Among the law-related careers identified in an article from The Australian Law Society were the jobs relating to generally ‘law-centric’ roles like ‘advocacy’ and ‘Judge’s associate’, but many areas of developing interest provide anyone with a law degree with a legal career pathway of high interest and potentially high earnings tool
Consider some of the following –
Content writing for law firms and others
Crisis management and high-end public relations consultancy
Investment advisory and investment banking
Information and security consultancy
Journalism, legal or otherwise
Legal technology strategy and consulting
Litigation management and support
Mediation and arbitration
Web compliance and SEO
What careers can you pursue if you study law?
What To Think About If You’re Making The Jump From Law
A great website that looks at the ‘life after the law’ issue, as well as providing key tips on life for those seeking to never even enter the law, is Legal Nomads.
Their ‘Thrillable Hours” section takes a look at lawyers who have made the transition, with people including a Museum of Food & Drink director, photographers, journalists, artists and others.
These interesting stories of former lawyers are engaging and interesting and do not require law degrees, but they do show the ability for legal professionals with their depth of knowledge, confidence, background and overall legal skills to forge successful careers beyond the law.
The Law Career Success Stories
If you need inspiration for those who have moved from the law (or in some cases never started) but had their legal qualifications, then consider the list of 30 famous people with law degrees.
We wrote about 10 global celebrity former lawyers here.
Whatever the choice, a law degree can help set anyone up who is focused on using their legal training and the advantages offered by legal degrees to choose a law career that does not actually involve being a lawyer. There truly is a world of law career alternatives out there.