A recent post in US News & World Report identified 32 jobs for law graduates in the US and provided the list for those trying out, but the list contained only a few surprises . . after all, we know that the law profession has law graduate jobs in areas like real estate and family law – but are we missing the best law graduate jobs for those who don’t necessarily want to work for a conventional law firm?
The commonly expressed view that you can do anything with a law degree is nonsense, of course. You can’t be a doctor, or a NASA researcher, or a vetinary surgeon. Certainly you can enter business, banking and many other roles, but what if you actually want to practice law, just not with a law firm necessary?
What the US News list provided was the usual banking, family, compliance and other legal areas but there was also some interest in were the jobs you may not have considered as a law graduate.
Casey Berman, an ex-attorney who writes the Leave Law Behind blog, believes the key to changing your job track is figuring out what your personal strengths are and finding a job tailored to them.
And the world is changing. . and so too is the law and its requirements for experts.
So let’s look not just at what the US News article identified, but at some of the most interesting, developing areas of law that can provide a law graduate with a stimulating and interesting job..
Alternative Legal Services is a pre-pandemic trend that has continued to gain momentum throughout 2021 and is set to gain even greater momentum in 2022. Providers of Alternative Legal Services are solution sellers, undertaking specific legal tasks and processes to boost efficiency. Law firms are increasingly outsourcing niche tasks to these providers as they complete the tasks quicker and at a lower cost.
Blockchain – This area is being increasingly understood (well, it’s a term that people recognize without necessarily understanding its full purview) and as technologies like blockchain expand those with knowledge in the area – the techo-savvy lawyers, can make a killing by bringing their combined tech and legal knowledge to bear in a key area of interest for law graduates who like that stuff.
Cybersecurity – This is a massive area, rather like data & privacy law issues (below), which follows the major increase in cybercrime hitting businesses, including lawyers. Cybersecurity breaches in the UK for instance account for a half of all criminal offences and the move by businesses to hybrid and remote working models simply increases the risk of cyber crime. For any law graduate seeking an interesting job in a fast-developing area this is one to look for.
Data Security & Privacy Law – Okay, this may be pretty obvious given the problems Facebook and others have had, but this is an area of law that will also provide major opportunities for law graduates for in-house, consultancy and other roles outside of pure legal practice. The whole data privacy area continues to explode and with multi-billion fines being imposed and liability issues abounding, this is an area providing some huge opportunities for the very best law graduate jobs.
Elder Law – The growing number of ‘elderly’ has created a massive growth in issues relating to retirement, healthcare, financial and estate planning, retirement home management and development and more. It requires the sort of interest and understanding that may be different from our blockchain lawyers (above) for instance, but the growth in those entering retirement only continues – and that means a growing demand for lawyers with elder law expertise.
Environment & Climate Change – It hardly needs saying given the daily headlines, but these areas simply soak up legal work and the opportunities to work in NGOs, government, consultancies and others beyond the law firm continue to grow also. The array of work is also significant, ranging not only from science-based issues requiring legal application or interpretation to planning, compliance, drafting, lobbying and much more.
Best Law Graduate Jobs Requires One Thing
The lookout for the best law graduate jobs means you need to be open-minded and able to think flexibly to embrace a mindset that may differ from that required of your typical lawyer. As technology continues to develop the rising number of issues relating to its application as well as the ability of lawyers to service such demand from outside of the traditional law firm means there are top opportunities for those who embrace the change.