Non-Traditional  Career Opportunities For Law Graduates


By Sharon Schweitzer

While a Juris Doctor (JD) degree awarded by law schools is a mandatory step toward becoming a licensed attorney, a law degree provides tremendous value beyond direct preparation for legal careers. As you undertake law school studies, you will spend a great deal of time reading, researching, writing and learning to craft strong, evidence-backed arguments.

Law students have multiple opportunities to develop their problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills, analytical skills and legal writing skills. As you pursue a Juris Doctor degree, you become able to understand information expressed in dense “legalese” language that others find difficult, as well as to unravel complex matters of cause and effect.

Avoid becoming discouraged from pursuing a law degree and a role in the legal profession before exploring the best alternative careers available to law school graduates.

If the law firm environment is not for you, consider these twenty (20) potential career options after obtaining your law degree.

  1. Entrepreneur
  2. Writer/Journalist
  3. Budget Analyst/Management Analyst
  4. Marketing or PR Manager
  5. Lobbyist
  6. Legislator/Politician
  7. Compliance Officer
  8. Law Professor
  9. Legal Consultant
  10. Legal Operations Manager
  11. Mediator
  12. Law Librarian
  13. Judicial Clerk
  14. Corporate Counsel
  15. Estate Planning, Real Estate Counsel
  16. Government Counsel
  17. Investment Banker
  18. CPA
  19. Hearing Officer
  20. State Bar Administrator

Keep in mind that work as an attorney – even in unconventional roles – will almost certainly require you to pass the bar exam. Afterward, you must remain in good standing. If you’re looking for alternative career options because you’re struggling to pass the bar exam, steer clear of any roles that require you to be a licensed attorney and enroll in a highly rated bar review course. 

Many law school graduates use their law degrees and legal skills to pursue alternative career paths they find more fulfilling.


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Sharon Schweitzer JD, is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Sharon served as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.

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