Florida Coastal has an extensive network of alumni working all across the country in traditional and alternative legal careers. Our alumni are a valuable resource that students often overlook. As the holiday break approaches, now is the perfect time to start reaching out to alumni and scheduling informational interviews in your hometown. Informational interviews will provide you with unique insight into specific practice areas, alternative careers, and/or what it’s like to work in a particular city or region. They also allow you to establish professional connections that just might lead to an employment opportunity.
Throughout the semester, I have been interviewing Coastal alumni who are pursuing alternative careers, including risk management, contract management, procurement, and tax resolution. These alumni have been in your shoes, and they can answer your questions about the advantages and challenges of pursuing an alternative legal career. If you are interested in connecting with a Coastal alum who is working in an alternative career, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be happy to assist you with locating and contacting alumni and preparing for informational interviews.
Also, if you are interested in learning more networking tips and tricks, plan to attend the next Networking Club meeting tomorrow, Thursday November 1st at 5:15pm in Room 555. All students are welcome to attend! The Networking Club will culminate with networking receptions in Atlanta, Orlando, and Washington D.C. at the end of the Spring semester.
Save the date! On Tuesday, October 2nd, the Career Services Department is hosting an Alternative Careers Panel from 12pm to 1:15pm in Room 550. If you are interested in learning about alternative legal careers, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to explore alternative career options and learn how to position yourself for an alternative career. Our esteemed panel of professionals all hold JD degrees and have pursued careers outside the traditional practice of law.
The panel will include:
- Kiel Gross – Shands Jacksonville, Business Manager, Clinical & Ancillary Services
- Tiffany Holbrook – BB&T Wealth Management, VP, Personal Trust Specialist
- Millie Kanyar – Watson Realty, Florida Real Estate Broker
- C.J. Pipins – Florida Coastal School of Law, Law Librarian
- Tara J. Showalter, CFP, CRPC – Waddell & Reed, Inc., Managing Principal
- Thomas C. Wigand – JEA, Labor Relations Coordinator
Lunch will be provided. R.S.V.P. today on Symplicity.
Click here to register for a live webinar hosted by John Corcoran, Esq. and Basil Plastiras, Esq. on Thursday, June 14th at 3pm Pacific Time (6pm Eastern Time). Topics include business opportunities for new law grads, networking secrets, and growing industries with opportunities for non-traditional careers.
Click here to watch the Alternative Careers for Lawyers panel discussion presented by the New York State Bar Association highlighting the career paths of four lawyers in successful alternative careers. The panelists include a lawyer specializing in Business and Legal Affairs for MTV; the President of Nicholas & Lence Communications, a strategic communications, marketing, and government affairs firm; the Director of Sales Operations for Bloomberg Law; and the Chief Compliance Officer for Calypso Capital Management. The panelists discuss the paths that led them to their alternative careers and offer unique insight into opportunities within their respective industries. The panel is moderated by Hillary Mantis, Esq., author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers, which is available in the CSD Library.
If you are looking for a non-traditional legal career internship, check out the Non-Traditional Legal Career Guide. It is updated on the 1st and 15th each month, so be sure to for new postings.
Stop by the Career Service Office to get your Yellow Bookmark with a user name and password so you can access the Non-Traditional Legal Career Guide.
So you have heard the terms ‘alternative legal career’ and ‘non-traditional legal career,’ but what is the difference? In everyday parlance, there isn’t a difference. These terms are usually used interchangeably to refer to someone with a JD who is not practicing as an attorney in a law firm or government setting.
While there isn’t a strict definition attached to either of these terms, I tend to distinguish them based on whether the job requires the person be licensed to practice law (although I still tend to use the terms interchangeably). I think of alternative legal careers as those careers that do not require a person be licensed to practice law, but legal training and skills are a benefit in that position. We reviewed a sampling of those types of careers in yesterday’s blog (found here). On the other hand, I think of non-traditional legal careers as those careers that require a person be licensed to practice law, but the person is not practicing law in a “traditional” setting.
What are some examples of non-traditional legal careers? How about:
- In-House Counsel – While working as an attorney in a law firm or the government is considered a “traditional” legal career, being employed by a company is considered “non-traditional.” Depending on the size and type of corporation there are many possible in-house counsel positions, including general counsel, assistant general counsel, deputy counsel, legal counsel, corporate counsel, employment counsel, and litigation counsel – just to name a few!
- Compliance Counsel – Compliance counsel are also typically employed by a company, but are usually distinct from in-house counsel. Compliance counsel oversee the company’s compliance with a particular Act or regulation. There are many different areas of concentration for a compliance counsel, for example banking, securities, insurance, health-care, ADA, environmental, wage and hour, and ethics.
- Judges – There are many different types of judges including trial court judges, appellate court judges, magistrate judges, and administrative law judges.
- Legislative Counsel – Work environments for legislative counsel can range from departments in the government to non-profit organizations. Legislative counsel are responsible for policy analysis as well as drafting, interpreting, and applying legislation.
WELCOME to the Alternative Legal Careers Blog! The purpose of this blog is to explore the wide world of non-traditional legal careers.
An alternative or non-traditional legal career is any career that someone with a JD can pursue other than a lawyer in a law firm, public interest or government setting. That means all other careers out there! WOW – that’s a lot to explore!!
Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any valuable information. Here are some of the topics this blog will cover:
- In-depth look at various non-traditional legal careers.
- Exploring whether an alternative legal career is right for you.
- Steps to identify and pursue the right alternative legal career for you.
- Updates on FCSL’s resources to assist in your non-traditional career search.