If you are planning on going to law school or have already graduated, you are en route to a great career. The law has many career paths and you’ll find that whatever you pursue, that you will do something rewarding to yourself and others.
But what are the different lawyer career paths to consider? There are a number of lawyer jobs available that are lucrative, enjoyable, and are fulfilling.
We’ve prepared this guide to show you some of the lawyer career paths you should consider. We also suggest reaching out to professionals in these fields to hear their perspective on the job.
Let’s have a look at the lawyer careers you should consider:
1. Legal Scholar/Professor
Not every expert in law and legal studies wishes to deal with the strain of practicing law. If you find that you love the law but aren’t able to adapt to the stress of practicing law, you can consider becoming a legal scholar.
For example, you can become a professor at your alma mater or another prestigious law school. You can write books about the law or about famous cases in law.
You can also work at a legal think tank, and think about new laws for the future such as digital laws, privacy laws, reforms to copyright law, and much more!
2. Personal Injury
While many aspiring lawyers dream of taking huge criminal cases or even becoming part of the Supreme Court, there is a much-needed place for helping individuals with personal problems such as this practice area.
The average person will eventually run into some personal injury problem. Whether they get into a car accident, are assaulted, injure themselves on the job, etc., they need a lawyer to help them fight their case. This is a noble cause and something that you should consider.
3. Paralegal or Legal Assistant
If you don’t want to be a practicing attorney, you can assist an attorney as a legal assistant or paralegal. These positions are often the unsung heroes of the law field but make a huge difference to a law firm’s clients.
A legal assistant is usually the entry-level rung in a law firm. Their work will include paperwork, contacting clients, preparing documents for clients. They prepare a case and provide the relevant information on the case and the client for the attorney to review.
A paralegal does much of the work as a legal assistant but will usually take on more challenging cases. They will also be responsible for legal research to assist the attorney when fighting a complex and strenuous case.
4. Contract Manager
If you prefer writing and working with individuals or organizations to resolve disputes or develop negotiations, you should consider becoming a contract manager.
This will involve drafting contracts between two or more parties. For example, you can help draft a contract that an employee has to sign before joining a company. You can prepare a Non-Disclosure Agreement that a ghostwriter has to sign before producing a written work for a client.
You can use contracts to resolve conflicts between parties without them having to resolve their disputes in court. This is an essential need in the legal field and one that many law graduates will find rewarding.
5. Law Librarian
If you harken back to your law school days and enjoy learning about the law without practicing or writing about it, you might want to consider preserving important legal texts. A Law Librarian is another unsung hero in the legal field. But they are an essential aspect for both law students and seasoned attorneys alike.
You will be responsible for preserving, collecting, organizing, and archiving legal texts and documents. For example, if a tax attorney needs the latest tax code you can refer them to the book.
If a legal scholar needs to write a book on notable law cases throughout history, you can refer and recommend the texts that will become crucial to their research.
A Law Librarian also has the responsibility of introducing the law to the general public. While many law libraries on university campuses are restricted to law students and certified legal professionals, there is a need for the average citizen to understand the law.
In the digital world, a Law Librarian can create an online library that shares digital legal texts and documents for the average person to access.
Of course, one of the most common routes for law school graduates is to become an attorney. This means that you serve as legal counsel for individuals and/or organizations. If you have it in you to fight for justice in a court of law, like Congressman Steve Rothman did before pursuing a career in politics, and can challenge another side to convince a judge and jury, then this is for you.
Whether you wish to fight criminal or civil cases, there is always a need for an attorney. Attorneys are heroes that have upheld justice and do their part in ensuring that we live in a fair and equal society.
If this is what you wish to pursue, you want to consider starting off as a legal assistant or paralegal in a law firm that focuses on your interest.
7. Court Reporter
A court reporter does another crucial job in a court of law. They document what is discussed and shown during a court session. The reports that they prepare to serve as an archive for legal scholars and for attorneys alike.
Often, laws are based on precedents and an attorney might need to depend on the result of a previous legal case in order to win their own case. To bring this precedent to the court’s attention, they will have to look at a report drafted by a court reporter.
If you have attention to detail, are a fast typer, and give importance to archiving you want to consider being a court reporter. Try to find an internship as one before you commit to this important and demanding profession.
There Are Many Lawyer Career Paths to Follow
As you can see, there are many lawyer career paths available. Whether you are starting law school or are a graduate, you don’t have to decide right away. In fact, if you’re still looking for a law school to apply to, your first decision should be focused on acceptance criteria, rather than specialisms. You can see a breakdown of the entry averages in this rankings table, courtesy of TestMaxPrep.
Read more about the law and careers on our website.