Category Archives: Exploring Non-Traditional Legal Jobs

An Inside Look at Companies Using

Keep in mind the next time you are researching companies where you would like to work.  Glassdoor provides an inside look at companies and jobs.  Company salaries, reviews and interviews are all posted anonymously by employees.  Thousands and thousands of companies are reviewed on this site, but companies are easy to find because they are grouped into categories. 

Thinking of a career with a charitable organization – check out the YMCA, the American Cancer Society, Catholic Relief Services, The Nature Conservancy,  or any of the 2,715 reviewed charitable organizations.  What about a career in insurance?  Check out All State, GEICO, State Farm, or any of the 2,153 reviewed insurance companies.  This site has everything from Aerospace & Defense companies to Transportation Services companies.

Are you wondering what kind of salary an Account Manager can make?  Check out the 5,735 salaries for Account Managers at 2,391 companies.  What about the salary of a Financial Advisor?  Check out the 1,355 salaries for Financial Advisors at 193 companies.

Check Out This Book

Many people look for an alternative legal career because they are trying to raise children, deal with an illness, take care of elderly parents, or just to pursue other interests.  If this sounds like you, check out Staying at Home, Staying in the Law by Julie Tower-Pierce.  This book discusses part-time and alternative careers that you can do from home, including freelance writing, telework, and compressed workweek options.  Come by the CSD library and check this book out!

More Ideas on What You Can Do With Your JD

Here are some more thoughts about what you can do with a law degree.  From Anthony Balderrama with

Corporate Investigator
What they do: When companies suspect their employees are violating workplace rules or committing serious breaches, they hire investigators to conduct internal investigations, which can reveal illegal behavior such as theft or fraud. They also conduct external investigations if a company suspects its clients or vendors are violating an agreement or engaging in illegal behavior.
Annual salary:$47,098*

Employee benefits managers
What they do:
Employee benefits managers design and implement the benefits plan for an organization. They formulate a plan that incorporates the needs of employees, ranging from health and mental well-being benefits to stock options and flexible spending accounts. In addition to creating and implementing the plan, managers also stay abreast of all legal guidelines to ensure that the company is not violating any state or federal laws.
Annual salary: $91,023

Law librarians
What they do:
In law firms, libraries, corporations and universities, law librarians are experts on researching any law-related issue. Attorneys, professors, paralegals and patrons of all industries often need to access reference materials, case studies and other legal documents. Law librarians know where to find relevant information and ensure that the library remains stocked with the appropriate materials necessary for its patrons.
Annual salary: $60,732

What they do: When two parties (individuals or organizations) need to settle a disagreement that they would prefer not escalate to a trial or other public forum, they turn to mediation. A mediator sits in on the discussions and sometimes offers advice, but he or she does not dispense a ruling or orders of any kind.
Annual salary: $50,660

Personal financial advisers
What they do: Personal financial advisers work with clients who need guidance on how to handle their finances, from investments to savings to insurance.
Annual salary: $77,723

Risk managers
What they do: Often employed in financial organizations, risk managers identify potential financial threats to the company and implement methods to reduce or eliminate them.
Annual salary: $96,395

*Salary figures based on data from and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Click here to read the entire article.

Best Places to Work as Compiled by

According to the following companies are the best places to work.  This list is based on the reviews of those who would know this information the best – the companies’ employees!

  1. Facebook
  2. Southwest Airlines
  3. Baine & Company
  4. General Mills
  5. Edelman
  6. Boston Consulting
  7. SAS Institute
  8. Slalom Consulting
  10. Susquehanna International Group

Click here to see the entire list of the top 50 Best Places To Work.



Department of State – Student Career Experience Program

The U.S. Department of State’s Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) is now accepting applications!  The application deadline is September 30, 2011.  If you are interested in a career with the Department of State, this is a great chance to try it out! 

The SCEP allows students to gain Federal work experience while in school and offers the hiring agency the option to convert SCEP participants into the Federal Civil Service.  SCEP participants are paid a government salary and are expected to work either full-time or part-time, as compatible with their course load.  A specific work schedule will be submitted that fits with the student’s academic schedule as well as the bureau’s need.  SCEP positions are typically only available in Washington, D.C., however, individuals interested in working in field offices should contact those locations directly.

Click here for a brochure with details on the application process, selection criteria, contact information for field offices, what to expect if you are selected, and the non-competive conversion to the civil service.

What Do You and John Grisham Have in Common?

A desire to do something different with your law degree!  John Grisham turned his law practice at a small firm in Southhaven, Mississippi into inspiration for 24 books – 9 of which were turned into films.  Grisham graduated from law school at Ole Miss is 1981 and specialized in criminal defense and personal injury litigation for nearly ten years before being inspire to write his first novel.  According to Grisham’s biography on his website:

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham’s hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing’s greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. 

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?  Is your hobby something that you can turn into a full-time career?

Check Out This Website!

Have you ever thought of combining your desire for an alternative legal career with your passion for helping the community?  Do any of these jobs in Florida sound interesting:

  • Associate Organizing Representative with Sierra Club – responsible for recruiting and motivating people to build grassroots power around Sierra Club water quality initiatives and other conservation goals.
  • Volunteer Coordinator with Women’s Breast Health Initiative – responsible for establishing new relationships and maintaining existing relations to fill all volunteer needs.
  • Program Coordinator for The Posse Foundation – responsible for organizing and managing programs for foundation focusing on youth leadership development and college access.

If so, check out

What Can You Do with a JD?

Here are more ideas of things you can do with a JD! 

  • Civil Mediation Program Manager
  • Contract Termination Specialist
  • Contract Administrator
  • Economic Policy Analyst
  • Estate Administrator
  • Labor Negotiator
  • Law Firm Recruitment Director
  • Law School Librarian
  • Legal Researcher
  • Paralegal Program Instructor
  • Political Campaign Manager
  • Regulations Analyst

Want to learn how your JD is relevant in these fields?  Make an appointment with a Career Services Counselor!

NY Times Article on Midlife Career Changes

On Sunday the NY Times published an interesting article on midlife career changes.  The article features two former attorneys and does a really great job of highlighting the difficulties of following your career dreams – demanding hours (even demanding by an attorney’s standards), economic uncertainty, loss of career prestige.  The article is a reminder that the reality of following your dreams is never as idyllic as you imagine.  In the end, however, the obstacles make the journey richer. I won’t ruin the end of the article for you, but I urge you to read it – I think you will find it reaffirming.  Happy reading!  (Click here to read the article.)

Using the Occupational Outlook Handbook in Your Alternative Career Search

The Occupational Outlook Handbook (“OOH”) is a fabulous resource for exploring career options.  Along with presenting detailed information on employment projections for hundreds of careers, the OOH provides summaries of the career field, work environment, training and qualifications, average salaries, related occupations, and professional organizations.  Ever thought about writing or editing?  Go to the OOH first to find out the latest trends in fields employing writers.  Just starting your career search and wondering what areas have the best prospects for job growth?  Go to the OOH Overview to discover that the number of compliance officer jobs is expected to increase and the employment services industry is expected to have large growth, but that you should stay away from jobs in textile production.  To check it out click here.