Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Courtesy of U.S. News & World Report's "Money" column:
Advocacy work. Lawyers often have experience advocating on someone else's behalf, which means a shift to working for an advocacy group could make sense. "Those are directly transferable skills to a nonprofit [organization]," [Heathe] Krasna [director of career services for the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs] says.
Entrepreneurship. Particularly if you oversee your own law practice, consider running a business or nonprofit organization unrelated to law. Your skill set likely puts you in a good position to head up a new venture; lawyers understand the value of the billable hour, know how to negotiate contracts like leases, and often have a client-focused thought process, which can benefit new businesses, [Caroline] Dowd-Higgins [director of career and professional development at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law] says.
Therapist. Because lawyers often enter the profession with the goal of helping others, some transition into a field that seems unrelated: therapy. This could require earning another degree, says Dowd-Higgins, who has seen lawyers become therapists. Consider a job as a marriage and family therapist, which made our 2011 list of Best Careers.
Teaching or coaching. Having a professional degree makes you more marketable as a teacher or professor, and many lawyers find they're good at explaining what they've learned to others. Teachers benefit from solid verbal communication skills, and this job, too, falls into the helping-people category.
Public speaker. Since lawyers are often practiced at making their case in front of a group—a skill that's valued in many industries—you might be a good fit for a position that's heavy on public speaking. If you go into consulting or another form of self-employment, consider public speaking on the side to earn some extra cash and visibility.