Alternative Career Options Available to the Modern Lawyer

A few weeks ago one of my mentees asked me whether there were other options available to an LLB holder apart from becoming an attorney or an advocate. As we spoke about the various options, I realized that many law student are not aware of the alternative options available to an LLB holder. I myself only learned about them after varsity.

I decided to do a bit of research and found that there are many ways in which a lawyer can transition from practicing in a law firm to entering other fields more tailored to their interests. For instance, there are plenty of business roles that require an understanding of law. In most cases, you will be required to obtain an additional certificate or under go a training program.

Below is a least of options, some of which were suggested by Investment & Finance attorney, @mochievous (on twitter) during a very informative thread a couple of months ago.(Do follow her page! You won’t regret it!)

1) Media

During your time as a law student you’ll have picked up some great written and oral communication skills which are particularly handy for careers in the media.You can find roles that utilise your legal knowledge, such as working for legal publishers.

2) Professional Coaching

Such as Integral Coaching which engages every aspect of a client’s life, offering a 360 degree approach to mindful habit creation and competency development. A certified Integral coach equips clients with the tools to identify and dismantle limiting patterns of behaviour and thought, with a view to developing new competencies and achieving desired goals. A lot of graduates are actively involved in coaching people in some capacity.Many hold full-time jobs and coach people in their organizations or on the side. Many start coaching practices, either as their main source of income or as part of a larger consulting practice

3) Risk Management

This is a strategic business discipline that supports the achievement of an organization’s objectives by addressing the full spectrum of its risks and managing the combined impact of those risks.Attorneys have long played a key role in helping clients to understand and mitigate risk. If you are interested in this area, there a number of certificates that you can do.Visit companies like Munich Re for roles that you could be qualified to apply for.

4) Legal entrepreneurship

We are entering the golden age of the legal entrepreneur.Entrepreneurs are melding legal, technological and capital to re-engineer legal delivery and provide easy, affordable access.  You can consider options such as a legal consultancy.

5) Project Management

Project managers are dynamic business professionals who use their managerial expertise to manage individual projects. If you are interested in this area, there a number of certificates that you can do.

6) Teaching

If you enjoy the academic side of law, you might want to look into teaching it in higher or further education. Becoming a law lecturer.
The world of academia is changing and you will likely need a Masters-level or higher qualification to get a teaching gig, but the jobs are there if you want them

7) Finance

There are various areas of finance where a law degree is valued, such as restructuring, specialized private equity, and certain investment banking groups.
Pursuing a career as an investment banker is another option open to you. This is ideal for those who thrive in a competitive environment and in high-pressure situations.

8) Management Consulting

Management consultants provide strategic, unbiased and objective advisory services which assist organisations in improving productivity and overall performance.

9) Tax Advisory

A tax advisor or tax consultant is a person with advanced training and knowledge of tax law. The services of a tax advisor are usually retained in order to minimize taxation while remaining compliant with the law.

10) Policy

Many arms of government have huge policy teams that are a great fit for lawyers with an interest in policy and regulatory development.
There are various courses that teach Policy development and managementAs lawyers we are trained to implement policy, and this will come in handy to anyone who is considering transitioning.

11) Transportation and Supply Chain

Various options, such as marine shipping and airline operations, are available here. Taking the relevant course would definitely be helpful. There are a number of online courses available, such as CITT and SCMA.

12) Journalism 
This is natural role for someone who loves writing and has had the necessary training. As Lawyers, most us have developed stellar writing, interview and investigatory skills.

13) The insurance industry
There are many potential commercial, investigatory and regulatory roles in insurance companies for lawyers. Everything from investigating claims to regulatory change. The insurance industry is heavily regulated and can be a great career option for lawyers to consider.

If you prepare and position yourself for where you want to be, you will definitely find the various opportunities aligned with your specific interest. Be prepared and take opportunities!

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