Pursuing a career in law is a noble calling. It is also a prestigious qualification that is guaranteed to open many doors in the legal world and beyond. Law isn’t just for the courtroom. It is applicable in all facets of the society from the protection of life, and in international relations between nations, to politics and conflict resolution.

Whatever your reason for pursuing a law career may be, it is certainly a great choice and remains one of the most lucrative degree options for students the world over.

With that said, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about legal careers.

What Careers Can I Do With a Law Degree?

What happens if your career interests change somewhere down the road? Does it mean that you have to start fresh by studying for a whole different degree? Well, with a law degree, you don’t have to.

Here are some great career options to put your legal knowledge to good use outside the courtroom.

  • Academia
  • Banking and finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Government and politics
  • Journalism and writing
  • Negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Professional counseling
  • Public interest advocacy
  • Working with non-governmental development agencies

Why Law is a Good Career

Not sure if law school is right for you? Here are 7 top reasons why Law is a great career choice.

  1. The earning potential is bonkers
  2. It has plenty of job and growth opportunities
  3. You have a diverse range of alternative career options within the legal profession
  4. The intellectual challenge you get from it will help keep your mind sharp
  5. It has stood and continues to stand the test of time despite many economic downturns
  6. It has long been regarded as an elite and noble profession, and you get to become part of this exclusive group
  7. With businesses expanding across borders, the legal profession now takes on a global perspective allowing lawyers and other legal professionals to provide services to international clients.
attorney

Is Law a Lucrative Career?

Absolutely! How lucrative, you ask? How does an $84,000/year salary sound? Pretty good, right? Well, that’s what the associates in some of the nation’s top law firms start earning straight out of law school. When you make partner, you can expect that figure to be well over $183,000/year!

What Careers Can You Do With a Law Degree?

The career options are virtually limitless. Anyone who makes it through law school and passes the bar exam is pretty much a modern-day genius of sorts. They can do just about anything – within the realms of reason, of course.

Some of the alternative career options available to people with a law degree:

  • Academia
  • Banking and finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Government and politics
  • Journalism and writing
  • Negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Professional counseling
  • Public interest advocacy
  • Working with non-governmental development agencies

Careers You Can Do With a Law Degree

If you want to pursue a career in law, then you should consider getting a JD degree. JD is short for a Juris Doctorate. It is the highest level of education available in the legal profession and boy, does it open up a world of opportunities.

Some of the careers you can pursue with a law degree include:

  • Arbitrator/conciliator/mediator
  • Consultant
  • Entrepreneur
  • Judge
  • Law librarian
  • Law professor
  • Lobbyist
law professor

What Are the Highest Paying Careers in Law?

If you’re in law school or are thinking about pursuing a career in law, then you probably want to know which path is guaranteed to make you the most amount of money. The following are some of the highest paying law careers and their respective median salaries.

  • Federal Judges – $210,000/year
  • Chief Legal Officers – $201,000/year
  • Managing Partner in a law firm – $183,000/year
  • Members of Congress – $174,000/year
  • Intellectual property lawyers – $131,000/year
  • Law School Professors – $119,000/year
  • Real Estate Attorneys – $107,000/year
  • Labor and Employment Attorneys – $107,000/year
  • Trial Lawyers – $101,000/year
  • Tax Attorneys – $101,000/year

Is Law a Good Career for a Woman?

Law is a great career choice for women. Granted, it is a field that is largely dominated by men, but hey, aren’t most of the top careers, anyway? It’s not because women can’t run with the big dogs (think Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney, Gloria Allred, Shawn Holley… the list goes on), but it’s just the way society is set up.

Women are always held to much higher standards than their male counterparts, which makes it much harder for them to climb up the career ladder. That’s no reason why you shouldn’t go for it!

woman attorney

What Law Career is Right for Me?

With so many career options to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow them down to just one or two specialties. Where does your motivation to pursue a law career come from? Are you simply looking to make a lot of money? Is it because you want to make a difference in your community by representing the downtrodden?

Does your motivation come from childhood memories of watching Law and Order? Does it stem from your passion for business? Whatever the reason may be, choose a field that you like, and, as the adage goes, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Here are some of the areas of law you can choose to make the center of your practice:

  • Bankruptcy law
  • Business law
  • Civil rights law
  • Criminal law
  • Environmental law
  • Family law
  • Immigration law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Labor and employment law
  • Personal injury law
  • Real estate law
  • Tax law

If you’re still not sure which one is right for you, you can take the American Bar Association (ABA) legal career quiz to help you figure it out.

types of legal careers

Is Law a Good Career for Me?

Only you can answer that question, to be honest. But here are a few things you need to know beforehand to determine if it’s the right path for you.

  • You need to have great people skills given the different kinds of people you’ll cross paths with, in the course of your career
  • You need to have an innate ability to digest loads of information quickly
  • You need to have strong organizational skills to handle the large workload that comes your way
  • You need to be prepared to put in the work which, more often than not, means working long hours doing research and preparing for trials and court hearings
  • You need to be passionate about the law, and your values need to mirror those prescribed by it
  • You need to be resilient to bounce back when you don’t get a favorable outcome
  • You need to be prepared to give your all – blood, sweat and tears – to represent your clients in the best possible way

If you have all these attributes and have the academic qualifications required to get into law school, then, by all means, jump right in!

Why Do You Want to Pursue a Career in Law?

One of the questions you need to ask yourself – and be honest about it is, “Why do I want a career in law?”

On a side note, you need to get comfortable answering it because it’s a question that you’ll be asked in every job interview you go for. Whatever you do, don’t say you’re in it for the money!

In all seriousness, though, a career in law is like no other. It is intellectually challenging – for all the academics in the house, personally fulfilling – there’s nothing quite like that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you win a case and, financially rewarding – because money is important too!

law school

Is Law Still a Good Career?

Yes, it is. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for the decade ending 2028 is projected at 6% growth, which is pretty good. This means excellent career prospects once you qualify.

Realistically though, don’t expect to get paid what the attorneys in top law firms make when you’re fresh out of law school. Nonetheless, a median pay of $120,900/year, which translates to about $58.13/hour, isn’t too shabby either.

What is the Future of Law Careers?

The future is bright for anyone interested in taking up a career in law. Individuals, businesses, corporations, all levels of government, and society, in general, will always need lawyers to help sort out their legal troubles.

Even if you decide to transition out of active law practice, there are several different career options available to you with your law degree. There’s no chance of it ever becoming obsolete.

So, if you’re wondering, “Is law a good career for the future?” The answer is a resounding, yes!

How Do I Get Started in a Career in Law?

Ready to get started? Here’s how to go about it.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Any Field

A degree in the criminal justice field, however, does give you a competitive edge over those that don’t have it.

Step 2: Sit for and Pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

This test measures your aptitude for the study of law.

Step 3: Acquire a Juris Doctor Degree

You’ll learn about civil procedure, contracts, constitutional law, legal writing, and property law. You can also choose to specialize in areas like corporate, tax, and labor law.

law school

Step 4: Complete a Clerkship Program at a Local Law Firm

This is important to get hands-on experience.

Step 5: Sit for and Pass the State Bar Exam

Lawyers have to pass this licensing exam before they are admitted to the bar.

Step 6: Apply for Employment, Get Interviewed, and Then Hired

Once you’ve jumped through all the hoops to meet the state’s licensing requirements, you’re now ready to apply for employment at an established law firm and get hired if you pass the interview. You can also start up your law practice straight out of law school, but it’s always better to gain a bit of experience first.

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