Alternative/J.D. Advantage Careers
Some law students and graduates may decide to pursue careers other than legal ones (“alternative careers”), or careers in which a J.D. is an advantage, but not a prerequisite (“J.D. Advantage careers”). As you have probably heard many times before, a law degree is a valuable degree in any employment setting, so if you think that you do not want to practice law in the traditional sense, there are countless options available to you.
To get a sense of what you want from an alternative or J.D. Advantage career, review the information on the Career Development Center's Self-Assessment Tools webpage, then check out the resources listed below. As always, feel free to make an appointment with your career counselor to discuss alternative/J.D. Advantage careers in more detail.
Web and Article Resources:
- NALP (National Association for Law Placement): Alternative Careers Websites of Interest includes links to websites relevant to: a) the general job search; b) business; c) court administration; d) government; e) healthcare; f) legal education and law-related careers; and g) media.
- JD Careers Out There - membership site for lawyers, law students, and prospective law students who are looking for alternative careers and tips/advice on how to get into such careers.
- ABA article on alternative careers for lawyers.
- NALP's "The Emergence of Nontraditional Track Lawyer Career Paths: A Resource Guide for Law Firms and Law Schools."
- “If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It: Helping Students and Alumni Identify and Market Transferable Skills”
- Compliance—Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics has a job board with compliance positions across the country. Corporations' compliance departments often hire recent law school graduates.
- Human Resources— humanresourcesjobs.com includes job postings for human resource departments in corporations. In recent years, human resource departments have looked for JDs.
- Journalism Jobs—lists for jobs in journalism.
- Legal Journalism and Publishing – lists postings and information for careers in legal journalism and publishing.
- Thompson Reuters lists jobs in legal publishing and editing.
- Article by Adam Liptak (Supreme Court correspondent of The New York Times) regarding his career path.
- Academic Administration
- NALP Job Postings—postings for law firm recruiters, attorney development, and career services.
- Chronicle of Higher Education—postings for undergraduate faculty, college and law school administrative jobs, and executive jobs.
- HigherEd Jobs--postings for faculty, college and law school administrative jobs, and executive jobs.
- NALP’s Guide on “Lawyer to Administrator” shares various perspectives on the transition into law school administration, including admissions, student affairs, development, and career services.
- Center for Association Leadership—job board for positions in consulting, law, recruiting, technology, and other positions in associations.
- National Association of College and University Attorneys posts positions, largely in compliance and risk management, but also for university counsel positions.
- Law Enforcement Careers has tips and information on jobs in law enforcement.
- Criminal Justice Careers has information on careers with the CIA, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security.
- Politico’s Power Jobs posts policy positions and government relations.
- Becoming a Law Professor Resources:
- The Tax Professor Blog contains a list of teaching fellowships for aspiring law professors. These two-year fellowships are opportunities to transition into the legal academy by providing time to develop scholarship.
- The Association of American Law Schools provides resources for those looking to enter the teaching market.
- A professor at Marquette University Law School has gathered resources on careers in law teaching from around the web.
- An article from Columbia Law School tells you “Almost Everything You Need to Know about Law Teaching.”
- The Right Moves: Job Search and Career Development Strategies for Lawyers, 2nd Edition, Valerie A. Fontaine
- The Lawyer’s Career Management Handbook: Your Bridge to a Satisfying Career, Marcia Pennington Shannon
- Managing Your Legal Career, Richard L. Hermann
- The New What Can You Do with a Law Degree? Dr. Larry Richard and Tanya Hanson
- What Color is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers, Richard N. Bolles
- New York State Bar Association: Lawyers in Transition (has video presentations regarding alternative legal careers, legal career transitions, and career development tips and suggestions)
Career Development Center
Founders Hall 118
919 Albany St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015