Navigating the myriad career options available to law graduates can be exciting and daunting. With its complexity and vastness, the legal field offers various potential career paths, each with unique rewards and challenges.
But it’s important to remember that a law degree isn’t confined to the courthouse or the corporate office—it can lead to many roles across different sectors, where legal knowledge is highly prized.
The possibilities are endless, from document reviewers to law clerks, business analysts, and attorneys. Let’s explore some of the best jobs for law majors and understand why they are appealing and rewarding career paths.
The Best Jobs For Law Majors
10. Document Reviewer
Document reviewers play a critical role in legal proceedings, working on reviewing, classifying, and analyzing legal documents for relevance and privilege. This job requires meticulous attention to detail and an understanding of legal terminology. This position is a great starting point for recent law graduates seeking legal experience.
9. Law Clerk
Law clerks typically work for judges, assisting with research and writing opinions. This job provides valuable exposure to the workings of the court system and an opportunity to work closely with a judge, making it a prestigious position that can pave the way to many options in the legal world.
8. Document Review Attorney
In a more advanced role than a document reviewer, a document review attorney supervises the review process and ensures it complies with legal standards and protocols. This position requires a law degree and often demands a high level of knowledge and experience in a specific field of law, making it a great career path for those interested in specialization.
7. Business Analyst
Business analysts in legal settings help organizations understand their legal obligations and rights, guide decision-making, and improve processes and operations. This role may require analyzing legal documents, drafting contracts, or managing legal risks. This is an excellent option for law graduates interested in business and strategy.
Of course, the most common job for law majors is a lawyer. Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, or government agencies on legal issues and disputes. There are many types of lawyers, including criminal, civil rights, corporate, and family lawyers, each requiring different skill sets and catering to other interests.
5. Real Estate Attorney
Real estate attorneys specialize in laws relating to real estate and property. This includes issues related to buying, selling, or leasing residential or commercial properties. Real estate law can be complex, but it’s also a booming industry with plenty of career growth and advancement opportunities.
While this is a broad category, legal analysts are crucial in various industries, including finance, government, and insurance. They research and analyze legal documents, regulations, or cases, providing expert advice to their employers. This career path is fulfilling for law graduates who love delving into the finer details.
3. Legal Assistant
Also known as paralegals, legal assistants support lawyers by maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research, and drafting documents. This job is an excellent stepping stone into the world of law and offers an insightful look at the day-to-day operations of legal proceedings.
2. Legal Extern
Legal externs are law students who work for credit at a law firm, government agency, or non-profit organization. This role allows students to gain real-world experience and networking opportunities while still in school, making it a highly advantageous position for those just beginning their legal careers.
At the top of our list is the role of an attorney. While ‘attorney’ is often used interchangeably with ‘lawyer,’ in some jurisdictions, an attorney represents a more specialized figure, offering advice to clients and representing them in court.
With a vast range of fields to specialize in, from corporate and family law to environmental and international law, becoming an attorney provides law graduates with an enormous breadth of career opportunities. Remember that your best job will depend on your interests and skills.
Frequently Asked Questions about Careers for Law Majors
Do all law majors end up becoming lawyers or attorneys?
No, not all law majors become lawyers or attorneys. A law degree provides a wide range of career opportunities across many fields. Many law majors choose careers in business, academia, government, non-profit work, and more.
What kind of skills do I need to succeed in these law-related careers?
Law-related careers often require excellent verbal and written communication, critical thinking, research, problem-solving capabilities, and professionalism. Knowledge of legal terminology and principles is also essential.
Is it necessary to pass the bar exam to work in these jobs?
Not all jobs require passing the bar exam. Positions like business analysts, legal assistants, and document reviewers may not require bar passage. However, roles like attorney, lawyer, and real estate attorney typically require bar passage.
What is the difference between a lawyer and an attorney?
While the terms are often used interchangeably, there can be a slight difference. In some jurisdictions, “lawyer” refers to someone trained in law, while “attorney” refers to a lawyer representing clients in court.
Can I shift from one job to another within these legal careers?
Yes, one of the advantages of a law degree is its versatility. Skills gained in one role can often transfer to another, allowing for career shifts and advancement. For example, a legal assistant could become a lawyer with further education and pass the bar exam.
What kind of job can I get if I’m interested in business and law?
If you’re interested in business and law, consider positions like a business analyst or corporate attorney. These roles combine business principles with legal expertise, offering a unique and exciting career path.
What job opportunities are there for law majors in the non-profit sector?
Law majors can work in various roles in the non-profit sector, such as policy analysts, legal advisors, or program managers. These roles can allow you to use your legal expertise to advocate for social issues you’re passionate about.
What does a document reviewer do?
A document reviewer analyzes and classifies legal documents for relevance and privilege in legal proceedings. This role requires a good understanding of legal terminology and meticulous attention to detail.
Is it possible to specialize in a specific type of law?
Absolutely! There are many types of law you can specialize in, including but not limited to family law, corporate law, environmental law, criminal law, and real estate law. Each specialty can lead to specific career paths. For example, if you specialize in real estate law, you might become a real estate attorney.
What is a legal extern?
A legal extern is a law student who works for credit at a law firm, government agency, or non-profit organization. This role allows students to gain practical, real-world experience and networking opportunities while still in school.