Second Careers For Lawyers – What Else Can You Do With A Degree In Law?

April 7, 2018

career road sign

Being a lawyer is not the only thing you can do once you get a degree in law. There are a series of careers for lawyers who don’t want to be lawyers, whether you lose your interest or you’re just not happy with the pay. Some of these opportunities can be found within the legal industry as well, while others go beyond it. How about second careers for lawyers then? Although you don’t necessarily need a degree in law for a second career, it’s worth noting that it can certainly help you due to the extra knowledge and education.

Unveiling the most common legal careers for lawyers

When it comes to law, some of the most popular choices for lawyers who want to switch include:

  • Barristers
  • Legal executives
  • Judges
  • Ushers
  • Researchers
  • Paralegals
  • Law costs draftsmen
  • Legal cashiers
  • Legal secretaries

What other options do you have?

Becoming a politician

Plenty of politicians are lawyers by profession. There are a few similarities between these careers, such as interacting with people. Being a politician skips the effort of reading books and watching computer screens all day long. If you’re not so much into writing, but you prefer talking instead, this career change is ideal. There are multiple levels of politics. Most people start at a low level and deal with small communities, only to grow to a national level. Knowing how the law is structured is certainly a plus.

Becoming a government worker

Government workers represent some of the most attractive alternative careers for lawyers. In terms of opportunities, there are countless choices. Having a background in law will most likely put you before other candidates. After all, many governmental institutions work according to the law, hence the necessity of some education. You can do administrative tasks, financial tasks, run departments or even apply to work for the state secretary.

Becoming an arbitrator

Although this isn’t a general rule, arbitration is usually a responsibility for judges and lawyers. They have to handle all kinds of disputes, whether it comes to family or business. They must be objective in the process and provide a clear and impartial solution. In order to do that, they will interview all the parties to get all the required details. It sounds like a legal job. From some points of view, it is, as you need to know the law. From other points of view, not all arbitrators graduate from a law school.

Becoming a law professor

Most law professors also profess as lawyers, yet this isn’t a rule. If you love sharing information and you enjoy teaching others, this career might be for you. Although these opportunities are related to the law, they’re considered to be non-legal careers for lawyers. You need to be more of a professor than a lawyer. This job implies all the tasks associated with teaching, from lecturing and holding office hours to grading papers and educating others.

Becoming a journalist

A journalism school makes more sense than a law school if you want to become a journalist. But you’ve already spent quite some years studying law, so you certainly don’t feel like going back to school. Journalists can work in different environments, such as television or written media. A background in law will provide extra credibility for a simple reason – many news is simply focused on laws and legal considerations. New laws are updated on a daily basis, not to mention adding new ones or challenging old alternatives. Although meant to be informative, journalism is a career that involves some entertainment as well – less stressful than working in a court.

Becoming a policy analyst

Are public policies your passion? If you love this field, but you don’t feel like being in the center of attention as a politician, a policy analyst is an ideal career. What do you have to do then? Simply put, you’ll focus on raising awareness of the most popular issues in your area. From education to politics, things can often go wrong, so people have to know. The main focus is on researching and getting some facts. You don’t necessarily have to work for a policy research company. Instead, many nonprofit organizations rely on such professionals for expert research.

Becoming a paralegal instructor

In simple words, a paralegal instructor does what a professor does. It’s all about instructing students. There’s the main difference though. The paralegal instructor pushes others to focus on specific skills in order to succeed in this career. On the other hand, professors don’t work on that, since their students have already decided what they want. In terms of duties and responsibilities, you’ll generally develop courses, research interesting programs, teach students and so on. Another major difference between instructors and professors is the fact that you won’t need to publish any work in law journals.

Becoming a legal recruiter

Despite working in the legal industry, a legal recruiter mostly works as a human resources expert – only they do it for legal companies. It’s all about establishing a connection between lawyers and those who want to work in this field. You help people get jobs, but you also help lawyers find the right individuals for their expertise. It’s imperative to educate yourself on the recruitment process and learn how to work with both people and companies. A legal degree will help you understand better what lawyers expect from you.

Becoming a law school career counselor

A law school career counselor is a professional that pretty much any law school needs. However, most schools will only need one or two counselors, so jobs are quite limited. All in all, your main role would be to help aspirant students make the transition to their careers. You’ll have to assess each student’s capabilities and passions, only to show them the right direction. Many students are good, but they lack direction.


Not sure how to change careers if you’re a lawyer? Your options are obviously countless. Most of these careers don’t imply taking additional courses. They don’t even require a degree in law, yet this diploma will most likely help in the future.