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Alternative careers you can follow with a law degree

It's doesn't have to be about courtrooms and crime. Source: Shutterstock

If you’re studying a law degree, you probably hoped you would one day build a career in the legal industry – but sometimes life doesn’t work out this way.

You may have discovered that law just isn’t for you, or perhaps you’ve found a passion within a subsection of your degree that you want to further explore.

The good news is that law is respected as one of the most challenging degrees you can follow, meaning there are hundreds of employers looking to snap you up after graduation – many outside of the legal industry.

Your degree will train you in researching, analysing texts, problem-solving and creative thinking – vital skills in the automated job market that values soft skills above anything else.

Your law degree gives you transferable skills beyond the industry. Source: Shutterstock

“Rest assured that if you worked hard enough for that law degree, you’ll be equipped with skills beyond the courtroom and private practice,” a law graduate who is now pursuing a career in journalism told Study International.

“The workplace needs problem solvers, and a law degree is definitely a good foundation for that, once you’ve cut through all the legalese,” she added.

Here are just some of the careers you can pursue with a law degree…

Government and politics

A law degree prepares you for a career in politics as you have a strong background in policy-making and complicated cases. Politicians often have to make decisions based on past activities, and navigate legal frameworks in policy – all of which you’ll already have experience in.

In fact, 17 percent of the world’s leaders studied law at university, including Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, according to data released by SavingSpot by CashNetUSA.

You’ll likely have studied law and policy-making during your course, and perhaps even studied modules that explored international law and political relations.

Even if your studies weren’t explicitly political, you will still have picked up the research skills, the ability to look at situations from numerous perspectives and analytical comprehension necessary for a career in politics

Consultancy

While you may have decided legal consultancy isn’t for you, there are many other types of consultancy you can follow with a law degree under your belt.

Environmental consultancy and business consultancy are two of the biggest markets, and you’ll have relevant skills in both. From corporate law to environmental policy, your degree will prepare you for analysing and problem-solving within any industry.

Consultancy is a relatively secure career as there will always be companies who are looking for experts to improve their models, and automated platforms are unlikely to replace creative human problem-solving in the foreseeable future.

Journalism

There’s never a dull day in the media world. Source: Shutterstock

If a law degree prepares you for anything, it’s analysing sources for crucial information and separating facts from fallacies. This includes reviewing reports, investigating different sources and making authentic judgements on conflicting information.

These are all key skills in journalism as you could be reporting on global trends; political, economic or social studies; breaking news or analytical features.

All these styles of journalism require strong analytical expertise and the ability to interpret sources within a contextual framework. These abilities are the cornerstone of legal studies as you will learn to scrutinise legal cases and apply real world situations to legal theory.

A Kuala Lumpur-based journalist who originally studied law at the University of West England told Study International: “I’ve always been writing for local news publications. When private practice was just not cutting it for me, I quit and joined the UNHCR instead. It was a good run, but when I was offered a chance to write full-time, I jumped on it. It’s been more two years now, but wow, zero regrets.”

Teaching

While not many schools offer classes on legal studies before university, a law degree will give you the ideal background to become an English, history or religious studies teacher. The writing skills you develop during your studies as well as the contextual knowledge you’ll gain through the course prepare you to educate others in these areas.

Some sixth forms offer legal studies qualifications to prepare students for their degrees, but teachers usually have to work in another subject before being promoted to sixth form education.

This is an ideal career for those who enjoy academia but aren’t totally in love with the legal industry. You’ll be responsible for educating the next generation of young minds who will go on to shape tomorrow’s world.

Academia

Do you love the study of law more than you love the legal industry? Then a career in law academia could be for you.

By studying a Master’s and eventually a PhD, you will develop research skills in legal studies allowing you to drive knowledge in the industry forward. Your days will spent reading, researching and writing as you publish research papers and discuss new trends.

You will continue within university structures to progress the field, and be able to impart knowledge you learn upon students at the start of their journey.

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