Legal Graduates – Consider Job Opportunities Outside Traditional Law Firms

February 3rd, 2014 by

Individuals interested in a legal career might have to look further than traditional law firms if they want to find work in the future. Fortunately, there are many other opportunities for those with legal degrees. The senior VP at Keystone Associates Legal, Mark Newall, was recently asked to give advice in this regard to legal students. He recommended five fields beyond traditional law firms where legal graduates are employed.

1. In-house counsel. Becoming part of the staff at a large company is particularly attractive to lawyers with an interest in a specific industry. These individuals will often specialize in business strategy, advising senior management or evaluating risk.

A major perk of this option is that it usually involves a regular 9-5 job instead of the 24/7 schedules at some law firms. The biggest demand for attorneys is currently in this area.

2. Law firm administration.  Newall, who ran the human resources department at a major law firm for 14 years, says that there are many job opportunities for lawyers in the HR, development, training, recruiting and pro bono divisions of major law firms. So even if one has already been told that there are no legal jobs at a particular law firm, there might still be an opening in one of these specialized fields.

3. Government.  The federal government hires many lawyers, as do individual states and local governments. Newall said: “The quasi-federal postal system, for instance, needs attorneys in roles that range from procurement and government contracting to handling real estate transactions to litigating on the agency’s behalf.”

Although salaries here might be lower than in the private sector, a major benefit is that if the applicant made use of a government-backed loan to finance his or her studies, it might be possible to get this erased in terms of a loan forgiveness program.

4. Nonprofits.  Public interest organizations in the non-profit field often hire lawyers to do jobs such as lobbying and fundraising. This provides the candidate with an opportunity to do rewarding work and achieve positive change.

5. Temporary work.  It happens more and more frequently that companies hire lawyers on an ad-hoc basis to deal with specific short-term issues or projects. This often happens through intermediaries such as Outside GC and Counsel on Call.

Studying for an online legal degree could be the start of an exciting career in any of the fields outlined above. Explore your options to earn your degree online at

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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