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You’ve just graduated law school, and you’re curious about what avenues you can take to start your exciting new career.  While many students go to law school with the intention of taking the Bar exam and becoming practicing attorneys, others may be interested in a different career path; fortunately, a law degree provides students with many different career options, outside of being a practicing attorney.

Contract Attorney

Whether you’re just getting out of law school, or have already been a practicing attorney looking for a career change, a contract attorney may be a great option.  As a law professional, a common skill you generally need to have is an expertise in drafting different contracts. Organizations large and small generally need contract managers to draft and negotiate different business deals and contracts; this is where your experience at law school or as a previous practicing attorney can come in handy.  Additionally, being a contract attorney can provide you with the opportunity to do business on a freelance basis, as some corporations work with freelance attorneys to be more cost-effective. Freelance jobs are usually done on a project-by-project basis, as opposed to a full-time position; this will give you the ability to generally work on your own terms, and choose what projects you want to get involved in.

Politician

Following graduation from law school, you may find it difficult to find a job in the legal field, as competition is rather fierce; you also may not be interested in a legal career as a practicing attorney.  In that case, you can always consider a career in politics; in fact, many former and current political officials have law degrees.  A law degree will provide you with the opportunity to enter politics in local, state, and federal government positions.  When you study law, you’re taught how to think critically, and challenge different policies with educated and factual arguments; these skills are essential for a career in politics.

Real Estate Broker

Real estate is an industry that may have its highs and lows, depending on the status of the housing market, but it is also a field where you are likely to find consistent work.  A law background and prior legal experience is extremely valuable in a broker position as you likely have the ability to understand different legal and contractual issues. You can use your experience to work directly with clients and help other real estate professionals in your firm better understand industry practices.  To move forward with a career as a broker, your requirements may vary depending on your state; however, it isn’t uncommon for someone with a law degree to only be a few short steps away from actually obtaining a brokerage license.

Author

Both practicing attorneys and recent law school graduates need to have a strong writing ability.  With that, if you’re looking to leave your current career path as a practicing attorney, or are searching for a career with a little more creative opportunity, becoming an author may be a path to consider.  Many practicing attorneys venture into writing as a new career due to the opportunity to be versatile. Successful author John Grisham used his law experience to write best selling thrillers and novels that not only changed his career but gave him the opportunity to use his past experiences and apply them to something new and exciting.