I came across an interview on ‘Above The Law’ blog wherein Halen Van spoke about quitting her law firm job to write her first novel – The Partner Track.
There came my eureka moment. I started surfing the net about alternate career opportunities law grads have with a law degree.
After all, not everyone is comfortable slogging it out in law firms.
If you are an aspiring first-generation lawyer, chances are that you may find the court environment daunting.
I remember once a distant uncle telling me litigation is not for the faint-hearted. People’s hair turns grey while building a law practice. Needless to say, this uncle of mine belongs to the category of relatives who will seldom call other than to ask about my grades.
When I was in my final year, my family was charmed by the story of another distant relative’s son cracking the civil services exam. I almost got coaxed into taking a year off to prepare for civil services.
My parents felt civil services is easier to crack if you have a law background. My mother belongs to Bengal so she even made a reference to how Subhash Chandra Bose cracked it at the age of 21.
However, I luckily did not fall into that trap.
Somehow, the mainstream career options never excited me as much. In law school, while some students were genuinely passionate about joining law firms, I found others mostly clueless and following the herd for the sake of it.
In my spare time, I found myself googling on career opportunities for law students that graduates from top law schools are not looking at. I would read superlawyer interviews about unconventional careers. So did I find my sweet spot? Yes, kind of…
While you may argue that Academics as a career choice is not as lucrative as a law firm job or an in house position, it has its merits too.
There is a dearth of good law professors in the country.
Making a career in academics is a question of your temperament, I would say. If you love reading, writing, researching, academics can be a career option for you. Look at it this way, in law firms, you have to make your client understand the legal issues involved in a particular problem. On the other hand, in teaching and academics, you have to teach law students.
If you are good at your job, you will enjoy a tremendous fan following amongst students. More than that, the satisfaction you will derive by shaping careers is unparalleled.
Law teachers get paid fairly well, and there are thousands of new positions opening up as tons of new law colleges are opening up every year.
Blogging & Content Writer
I was once a part of a yoga retreat in the Himalayas. On weekends, I used to see a batchmate of mine giving consultancy to his clients sitting in China. I envied him. I would often tell him jokingly that I will get a cooler job than you.
I often dreamt of working from a quaint little coffee shop in the Himalayas on a laptop. As luck would have it, I enrolled myself in the 3-month offline dream job boot camp at LawSikho.com. This ended with me bagging a job in the marketing team of LawSikho. It helped me to hone my writing and research skills. Although I am still a work-in-progress yes, the dream of working from anywhere and any time is fulfilled.
Blogging and content writing is really picking up. People and businesses are relying on the internet to find their lawyers. Online presence of lawyers and law firms is very critical these days, and there are lawyers who specialize in that work.
Almost all law firms have been hiring content writers with legal qualifications in business development or communications positions. Law firm marketing is now a real profession. You could even work for one of the many Indian or global legal content or media companies.
Global legal content companies are hiring Indian lawyers to write content or compile databases for them too, and it could be a lucrative work from home job.
Does olive green attract you? Are you guided by a sense of responsibility towards the nation? Many law grads are unaware of joining the armed forces as an assistant JAG officer. JAG officers play an advisory role in the Indian Army. They are the legal advisors to our commanders in military, discipline and other allied matters. They do not engage in actual combat though.
It is needless to go gaga about the perks and privileges of serving the nation in the capacity of an officer in the armed forces. The pride and respect you will command from your peers, friends, family and aam janta is second to none.
The Internet has made possible for lawyers to find work online. Like blogging and content writing, you can do solid legal work from remote locations, draft contracts, provide consultation and even legal advice on phone sessions. There are websites like Upwork that lists assignments freelance assignments for lawyers too.
You could even get a lot of work from busy lawyers who can use a bit of help. A lot of legal outsourcing work is up for grabs if your network of lawyers is good.
Today, visual content is the king. Many professionals and law graduates have quit their cozy corporate jobs to become Youtubers. And it works for quite a lot of them.
There is tremendous opportunity in taking the law to the common people. There are a lot of YouTube channels on law that attract millions of views. If you are good, you could enjoy a wide reach and a semi-celebrity status.
Do you love collaborating with people? How about a job which has elements of teaching and skill development at its core.
As a corporate trainer, you can venture into training and capacity building of employees.
Training can involve imparting knowledge about business systems. Your work might also involve taking orientation sessions in case the employees need to acquainted with new employment law. Good law graduates with top-notch communication skills can also train employees to enhance their soft skills.
Corporate trainers are really just teachers. Your public speaking and leadership skills go a long way in determining your success as a corporate trainer. A lawyer who has sound business acumen, legal knowledge and interest in the learning process can thrive as a corporate trainer.
The larger point being made…
The world is changing and a lot of new opportunities exist for lawyers. You can find something that you really love. Be open to looking beyond the obvious choices.
Try out a LawSikho course if you have the opportunity. It would not only help with developing new and important legal skills but also open up your mind to the new developments in the legal industry and opportunities that are arising from these trends.
Lastly, if you keep learning, train continuously, move towards your goals with relentless passion, have a good support system, you will be awesome at your work and pretty chilled out too, no matter what exactly you do.
I know many litigators and law firms lawyers who are very, very chilled out as well.
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