What Is An Alternative Legal Career?
At some point during their law school tenure, law students ponder and consider career options outside of the traditional practice of law. Students and graduates seek alternative careers for various reasons, such as a high level of personal interest in a sector, company, or job type. Alternative careers may be considered simply to facilitate a desire to work a less rigorous schedule than that required by the traditional practice of law.
An alternative career may be any career outside of the law firms, government agencies, public interest organizations, and judiciary at the heart of the current establishment of the legal profession. Many of these alternative jobs do not require a law degree but are theoretically enhanced because of skills learned in law school. The CDTA provides instruction in both the hard skills and the soft skills – those skills necessary for graduates to become effective attorney-advocates from day one of practice.
Many of the soft skills learned in law school at the CDTA are directly transferable to other business enterprises in other areas and sectors:
- Critical thinking skills
- Advocacy skills
- Communication skills
- Research skills
Law school graduates have the unique and invaluable ability to simplify a scenario or fact pattern and break down the underlying issue and problem to its component parts. Some fields related to the practice of law require applicants with law degrees. These include career options such as law professor, court administrator, and law librarian, which, of course, require a Juris doctorate.
Careers in the financial sector (investment banking), compliance sector (OHSA inspector), dispute resolution sector (mediator), and management sector (risk analyst and manager) may not require a JD, but the skills developed from law studies are highly beneficial. Thus, a law degree can provide useful benefits and advantages in fields which require statutory or regulatory analysis, contract administration, policy development, or negotiation.
The CDTA focuses on its students learning all the skills necessary to become effective attorney-advocates. The education gained at the CDTA of the hard skills and soft skills is almost universally acceptable and viable in areas other than law. Even if used in a completely unrelated field, legal training in the hard and soft skills may still prove useful by giving individuals enhanced analytical skills and different contexts for examining problems.
Individuals desiring to pursue entrepreneurship, as well as real estate or small business ownership, will be well served by their legal education. Of course, it all depends on employers who recognize that a law degree is an additional and significant bonus to any other skills required by the job. It is not unusual for companies and prospective employers to believe that an applicant with a law degree is over-qualified. It may be necessary for a job applicant to demonstrate the reasons why any employer should hire an attorney rather than someone specifically trained in the field and for the job. Applicants must show how their legal training and personal attributes (hard skills and soft skills) fit the job for which they have applied, and how this training and skill will benefit the employer.
The California Desert Trial Academy is a 21st Century law school that moves students toward a successful legal career on the first day of class. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.