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Tired of Being a Lawyer? Want a Career Change?


Lawyers are highly trained in more than just legal practice. To gain admission to the profession and a license to practice, legal professionals undertake training over and above the course content of a law degree in among other things, advocacy, writing, personnel management, ethics, client management and alternative dispute resolution. After a time in practice, these and other skills are developed including risk management, practice in commercial negotiation and for some, legal writing and education. There are other skills and you will know if you have acquired them during your time in practice.

As a result of their law degree and practice training, lawyers have significant transportable skills that fit them for other professions. When the practice of law palls because of factors such as personal pressures, practice fatigue, moving to another location or the desire for a life change, where can a lawyer take her skills? What are the alternatives to legal practice?


Professions and Opportunities for Lawyers Using Lawyer's Skills

When you're looking for an alternative to legal practice, your personal needs and motivations are paramount. Your particular skills and any area in which you have specialized knowledge may give you a niche that you can exploit in pursuing a further career. Consider becoming a specialist lawyer in banking and finance, a move to a merchant bank may be attractive and possible. A commercial lawyer with a specialty in consumer goods legislation may be attractive to an FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) corporation. An intellectual property specialist may have a future in media.

McCollum Injury Law Firm suggests, if you are a generalist you may have to consider your other strengths such as mediation, legal writing or employing skills in risk compliance. Whatever your strengths here are some suggestions for careers using a law degree and legal practice skills:

  • corporate international relations specializing in areas such as international law, trade law, mergers, and acquisitions or banking and finance
  • consultant in corporate communications and investor relations
  • in-house legal counsel in a corporation
  • mediator
  • legal consultant in online risk compliance programs for corporations
  • sales to the legal profession and industry of software including electronic and print libraries
  • international banking and finance
  • legal training to firms for support staff in-process work such as property sales and wills and probate
  • in local, state and federal government agencies that investigate and prosecute under legislation
  • justice-related areas such as community advocacy on behalf of minorities, in the environmental movement and for the disadvantaged
  • international relief and aid agencies
  • international human rights agencies such as Amnesty International and the International Red Cross
  • investigative journalist or documentary filmmaker.
  • legal writer and editor in specialist legal publishing houses
  • legal officer and writer in federal and government agencies that compile reports for government on law reform
  • a politician in local, state and federal government where an understanding of the process of lawmaking and its implementation obtained in a law degree is invaluable
  • private investigator
  • real estate and property development with a degree in property, land and environment law
  • writer for legal trade magazines and law firm blogs
  • legal recruitment consultant
  • a career in the military as an officer

If you have a law degree and have not practised, or your law degree is unaccredited, many of the occupations and professions listed here will still be available to you. It is a matter of fitting your personal skill set and the content of your law degree to the area you wish to pursue.