9 Alternative Jobs for Lawyers and Law Students


It isn’t easy being a lawyer, whether it is corporate or criminal. It requires long hours, a lot of paperwork, plenty of legwork, and overstimulating the little gray cells. Imagine doing this every day of the week for 50 or 60 hours? It is hard, but a lot of attorneys wouldn’t have it any other way. Can you endure it? If not, there are still plenty of legal jobs around, from writing to representing to mediating.

If you are interested, then we have you covered with many different employment options available. Here are nine alternative jobs for lawyers:

1. Legal Representative for Startup

When startups are in the process of opening their business, they need legal guidance. Everything from tax compliance to regulatory reviews, smaller and newer companies may have a difficult time navigating the market when they are dealing with legal complications. This is where a legal representative is imperative because an attorney can provide the necessary advice to ensure the startup is not violating laws or avoiding certain rules established at all three levels of government.

A great thing by offering level advice to these startups is that you can do so as a freelancer, a contractor, or on a part-time basis. Put simply, as needed, which means you can work with a variety of clients and still maintain a flexible schedule.

Indeed, because these enterprises are just starting out, your earning potential is quite limited. But if you are successful in attaining several clients, then you can make a decent annual income.

2. Writer

Let’s be candid: Legal writing is not the sexiest type of content that readers seek out. It’s the equivalent to writing about economics – you will lose people after the first couple of sentences.

That said, a lot of newspapers still hire writers to provide analysis on legal issues of the day. For instance, the allegations over President Donald Trump colluding with the Russian government in the 2016 election stimulated demand for legal expertise in the mainstream and alternative press. But if you have a knack for writing, then this could be one of the best alternative jobs for lawyers.

3. Legal Editor

In addition to the demand for writers, plenty of newspapers, websites, and news networks have a need for legal editors. These are great alternative jobs for lawyers who seek less demanding work, but still get to practice their legal expertise.

Legal editors are imperative for any publication that publishes a news story about a trial, a crime, or a culprit. If an outlet posts the wrong information or makes baseless accusations, then the company will be in hot water. The responsibility of a legal editor is to ensure that does not happen by combing through the minute details of every article that passes his or her desk.

4. Recruiter

Every law firm requires talent to thrive. It isn’t easy finding the best and brightest, especially when there are thousands of potential candidates applying for a job. Rather than dealing with an influx of applicants going through those doors, many law firms hire recruiters to locate the right candidate.

Enter: Recruiter. Although recruiters oftentimes work in a variety of fields, there are many recruitment businesses that specialize in certain markets. For example, there are legal recruiters who try to find a tax attorney, a legal clerk, a legal secretary, and so on. This saves the law practice time and money.

5. Consultant

Please, no jokes about consultants! But consultancy is an important position for any attorney who is thinking of leaving the profession but still dipping his or her toe in the industry. A legal consultant will work one-on-one with a law firm to see what is going wrong, what can be improved, and what changes need to be made (or reversed).

Remember, a legal organization is still out to make money, whether they are criminal defense attorneys s or corporate lawyers – your job as a consultant is to ensure they can maximize their earning potential.

6. Teaching

How good of an attorney were you? How long did you practice? These are pertinent questions to answer because it could lead you to another career: teaching.

While you may not land a gig in a high school, you could teach a couple of hours per week at a college or university. If you have served in your career for an extended period of time and became a well-known attorney in your industry, then you could get hired as a teacher.

7. Policy Analyst

The go-to alternative career for many attorneys is that of a politician. But, because we know that you appreciate your privacy and respect your principles, it is possible that you want to avoid this choice.

That said, there are still important roles to take within the political realm that can keep you from getting your hands dirty. The part of a policy analyst is important because your responsibility is to peruse legislation, read through policy proposals, and determine the efficacy of policies through a legal mind.

Also, you could land on television and provide your expert opinion on a particular policy.

8. Private Investigator

Philip Marlowe or Hercule Poirot – which was your favourite private detective?

If you love detective stories and were able to figure out who the killer was by the time the third chapter appeared on your page, then perhaps a career in private investigation is for you. Sure, you might not solve murders or fall in love with a red-headed vixen, but it is still an interesting job for any attorney who wants to stimulate his or her little gray cells.

For the most part, you will be tracking down a wife who cheated on her husband or a business partner who embezzled the company. A lot of the cases will seem mundane after a while, but you could still make a killing – $250 a day plus expenses.

9. Mediator

Dispute resolution is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after positions for attorneys – novices and seasoned veterans. Due to crowded courtrooms and schedules and ballooning court fees, many clients are actively seeking out settlements outside the courtroom. This requires a neutral arbitrator, conflict analyst, or mediator to serve as a neutral party when collaborating with both parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

Do you have excellent communication and negotiation skills? This is one of the possible alternative jobs for lawyers like you!

Being an attorney is not easy, and it gets even harder as you get older. So many lawyers are burnt out, and this is understandable – the hours are long, the work is stressful, and clients could be overbearing. It is not an easy field. So, whether you are interested in changing legal careers in your 30s or you still want to dabble in law in your 60s, these are reasonable career choices.

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9 Alternative Jobs for Lawyers and Law Students

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