So What Can I Do with My JD?

I often hear the question, “So, what can I do with my JD other than practice law?”  That is a very broad question!!  And the very broad answer is, “Almost* anything!”   

Deciding what kind of alternative legal career is right for you depends on a lot factors.  One of the biggest factors is your background – your undergraduate degree, any other graduate level degrees, and prior work experience.  It also depends on your interests, your goals, and your network of connections.

Further, what you can do with your JD can be thought of as a continuum – on one end, those jobs that are very closely related to being an attorney (think paralegal) and on the other end, those jobs where having a law degree helps develop your skills but is not required (think real estate developer). 

So what are some job examples along that continuum?

Closely related careers

  • Paralegal
  • Contract administrator
  • Law school librarian
  • Insurance claims examiner
  • Compliance officer
  • Dispute resolution professional
  • Clerk of court
  • Lobbyist
  • Undergraduate legal studies instructor
  • Grant writer
  • ADA coordinator
  • Director of law firm marketing
  • Law enforcement officer
  • Market research analyst
  • Journalist
  • Financial planner
  • Real estate agent

Indirectly related careers

These are just a very few examples of what you can do!  Since everyone is unique, it is a good idea to meet with a career counselor to find a field or area of alternative legal careers that is right for you. 

*Like any good attorney, everything must be prefaced!!