What can you do with law degree?

“You can accomplish anything with your law degree!” Most people who are considering law school have probably heard the mythical phrase. This promises that you will be able to do almost everything once you complete your degree. Law professionals and recruiters know that reality is not always as optimistic, but they are also very hopeful. Law degree is a really difficult goal to reach. So it is typical when you start doing your homework tasks and think “Who can I pay to do my homework?”.

Whether you’re looking to make an informed decision about your post-secondary-school choices, or you’re fresh out of law school and wondering ‘What next?’, it’s useful to get an idea of the career prospects open to you. These are just a few of the many possible career paths that a law student can take. You can also explore other legal professions.

There are variations in how lawyers are described – barristers and solicitors (UK) are both called attorneys in the US. Barristers are called advocates and advocates in South Africa.


American legal career opportunities

After passing the postgraduate Juris Doctorate exam, law graduates in the US can begin procedures to be admitted to bar. This will allow them to become attorneys. The admission requirements for a legal career at the Supreme Court of the United States or in federal courts are extensive. You’ll have to pay a fee as well as take a spoken or writing oath. Attorneys can go from the state Supreme Court to the federal Court, and even to the top as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Except in the case of patent law, differences between different types are not fixed or formal. In the US, there are several types of legal jobs: outside counsel in law firm, in house counsel in a corporate lawyer department, prosecutors within the District Attorneys, Attorney Generals or State Attorneys offices, plaintiff lawyers, defense attorneys. Staff attorneys. Litigators who advise clients in and outside of court. Trial attorneys who argue facts. Appellate attorneys who argue legal issues. Non-trial attorney (also known as transactional, office-practice, corporate lawyers or attorney advisors) who rarely have to go to court.

The US has many other legal career options. You could be a Judge Advocate General’s Corps or a Military Attorney. Or you could become a Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) attorney. In patent (or Intellectual Property), you can be a lawyer, agent, clerks, examiners, or designer.


Law-related careers

Law graduates from other parts will start their legal careers in junior positions in the rest of the world regardless of whether they have completed any undergraduate or postgraduate law study. You can pursue many career options in law once you have sufficient experience. However the requirements for junior positions will vary depending on how much experience you have and the degree of involvement they have in the law proceedings. Some junior legal jobs include: calendaring clerk, court clerk, court legal advisor (or magistrates clerk), court messenger, document coder, file clerk, junior barrister’s clerk, legal transcriptionist, legislative assistant, mailroom clerk and paralegal or hybrid paralegal, to name a few.

Another option is legal apprenticeships. This involves students learning at a firm rather than in university. A typical scenario is that legal career candidates complete either undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in law. After this, they work as an “articling”, or a placement, with a lawyer firm. They can be trainee lawyers, articled judges, judicial clerks or associates. If you are studying English common law, you can decide if your goal is to become a barrister/solicitor.


Work in the courtroom

In general, legal careers can be split into outside and inside the courtroom. You can find legal jobs in the courtroom as: broadcast captioner or chief court clerk (Communication Access Real time Translator), court administrator or court interpreter, court reporter/stenographer or judge, jury commissioner or jury consultant, jury selecting expert, deposition/legal videographer or judge, jury secretary, jury support specialist, litigator, litigation secretary, litigation specialist, magistrate, mediator coordinator (also called arbitrator, conciliator), protonotary (principal clerk) and webcaster.


Lawyer careers

There are many types law firms that you could join, including public and private (corporate), big and small, which focuses on advising individuals as well as corporations. Law aid companies, community law clinics, and other small, niche law firms specialize in a specific area of the law. Mega firms or larger ones employ multiple lawyers that specialize in different areas. The transactional department advises clients, handles administrative legal work and represents clients in court.

The smallest type or law firm is only one person. These may be self-employed legal professionals or executives working on a consulting basis for larger firms or virtual law companies based online. You can also offer you services as a lawyer for charities, public interest organizations, non profit organizations (NGOs), think tanks, the local Citizens Advice Bureau and legal advice centers.

You have many options for career choices in law firms. A law degree may also qualify graduates for positions in the finance, marketing and administration departments.


Alternate legal careers

The knowledge and skills gained from a law education can lead to other legal careers. These include teaching, becoming an instructor for a student in a graduate program in law, becoming a consultant or career advisor within a college, writing for publications, in the administration of a university law school, and applying for a Law Commission position as a research assistant.

A range of law-related career options exist that require legal collaboration. You can also work as a pretrial services officer, an asylum officer, or customs official; in law enforcement, prisons, or as a legislative advisor or analyst; in the trust division of banks; or as a conflict analyst, lobbyist, conflicts analyst, or civil/immigration lawyer; or as a congressional affairs specialist, compliance officer, victim compensation officer, or congressional affairs specialist.