Getting a law degree is hard work, but you may desire a career that fits your personality or lifestyle a little better once you graduate with that paper in hand. Many alternative job fields are growing dramatically for a person with a law degree. The high-profile nature of being a lawyer can seem glamorous, but it also brings a lot of scrutiny and pressure.
Here are some options in growing job fields that you can transition right into with your law degree.
Paralegals/ Legal Assistant
As a paralegal, you will be quite involved in court cases, but you aren’t the public face, and you don’t have to face the judge in court. Paralegals arrange mediation in family law divorce and custody matters; they contribute to trial preparation. They work providing support to the lawyer leading the case that goes to the courtroom and so much more. They draft closings, legal documents, pleadings, deposition notices, subpoenas, motions, and certifications. They interview the clients and witnesses and do the legal research into case law. They also file documents with federal and state courts.
For someone with a law degree, this career choice would align very well. The outlook for this career is growing considerably.
Court reporters capture speeches, conversations, legal proceedings, meetings, and other events when written accounts of spoken words are necessary for correspondence or legal proof. Reporters also transcribe depositions and other parts of pretrial proceedings. Court reporters provide closed-captioning and real-time translation services to those in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
The accurate work of court reporters is vital to an effective judicial system. Knowing the judicial system when typing about it can be quite helpful while working on each case.
Forensic science is the application of science to criminal and civil laws. Forensics is governed by the legal standards of admissible evidence and criminal procedure. Forensic science uses knowledge of criminal justice, legal studies, biology, chemistry, and computer programming.
During the job, a forensic scientist will observe, analyze, and form conclusions. Some have evidence specialties that analyze DNA and so much more. This is a hugely growing field, especially at the highest level. Having a law degree will get you noticed quickly and get you the highest-paying opportunities.
A claims examiner is the person that analyzes your insurance claim and says whether insurance should cover losses from accidents or illness. Claims examiners evaluate insurance claims and applications and follow up on insurance adjusters’ work to protect insurers from unnecessary financial loss.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in the industry from 2019 to 2029 will be strongest in health insurance, as medical costs rise and federal mandates will require individuals to buy medical coverage. Claims examiners work on complex cases that involve potential major financial payouts for insurers. Sometimes the examiner works for health insurers or life insurers. An examiner’s job requires them to be very organized, well-read, very accurate, and have insurance knowledge. Negotiating
Law enforcement officer
A law enforcement officer enforces the laws for their jurisdiction. With a law degree, you already have all the basics and knowledge to aim at any of the careers as a law enforcement officer. You also have a step-up in the vetting process, and recruiters will highly note you for your already earned law degree.
You can choose as a law enforcement officer to be a police officer, prosecutor, municipal law enforcement officer, customs officer, state trooper, special agent, secret agent, special investigator, border patrol officer, immigration officer, court officer, probation officer, parole officer, arson investigator, auxiliary officer, game warden, sheriff, constable, correction, marshal, deputy, detention officer, correction officer, sworn campus police officer and public safety officer.
Working in Human Resources can be a rewarding but sometimes tough job. Knowing the laws will be crucial in this career. This is also another growing career. You have to understand both business operations and people management.
With all the federal, state, local laws, and so much more, you will be able to make educated decisions for your company and your personnel. Those decisions may fall into employee health and safety, worker health, retirement, discrimination, harassment, payment, wages, unpaid leave, and more. Your ability to communicate kindly while knowing the laws will help you succeed in this career.
This important career is another top career for a professional with a law degree. It is a career where you interact with clients and help them with their taxes. You are the in-between person for the IRS and the client. You must know the tax laws and how they work with each of your clients. You are responsible for submitting tax forms on behalf of clients to pay the right amount of taxes and help optimize their return.
Some of your responsibilities include collecting financial records and income statements, inputting data into tax return software, using federal, state, and local tax laws to determine how much your client will pay or earn on the return. This career is great for someone that wants to build customer relationships and create a business.
Legal publishing and journalism
With a law degree, following your passion in journalism may be a great step. You can write about how laws have affected certain situations. You can work for publications and study how judges determined a case based on current laws; you can even write about current events and what should have been done based on the law. This career is one you can do while working from home and expand upon.
With a law degree, you don’t have to step into practicing law as a lawyer. There are many options in growing fields where you can step in and enjoy using your knowledge.