Alternative Legal Careers
Last updated by Benjamin Keele
Books and Guides
Arron, Deborah L., Running From the Law: Why Good Lawyers are Getting out of the Legal Profession, Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2004.
Collection of interviews with respected ex-practicing attorneys who gave up promising legal careers. The appendices contain career planning tips, finding support and recommended resources. See the footnotes section for a good bibliography. Recommended for those considering non-traditional legal careers.
Career Services KF297 .A87
Arron, Deborah L., What Can You Do With a Law Degree? A Lawyer's Guide to Career Alternatives Inside, Outside, and Around the Law, 5th ed., Seattle: Niche Press, 2004.
Contains information on career evaluation and planning as well as job search strategies. The extensive resource sections, particularity those for the chapter "job options for lawyers," are extremely valuable.
Career Services KF297 .Z9A772
RESERVE KF297 .Z9A772
DeBroff, Stacy. Serving the Public: A Job Search Guide - Harvard Law School's Handbook and Director for Law Students and Lawyers Seeking Public Service Work, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Law School, 2003 - .
CAREER SERVICES KF299 .P8 P83
Munneke, Gary A. and William D. Henslee. Nonlegal Careers for Lawyers, 5th ed. Chicago: American Bar Association, 2006.
Discusses the considerations involved in pursuing a non-legal career. Details numerous career possibilities as well as associations and organizations which hire individuals with legal education. Contains a good list of resources.
CAREER SERVICES KF297 .M862
Parker, Monica. Unhappy Lawyer: A Roadmap to Finding Meaningful Work Outside of the Law, Naperville, Ill: Sourcebooks, 2008.
CAREER SERVICES HF5384.P37 2008
Schneider, Deborah. Should You Really Be a Lawyer? The Guide to Smart Career Choices Before, During, and After Law School, Seattle: Niche Press, 2005.
CAREER SERVICES KF297 .S36
Selected Periodical Articles
Bosworth, Bridget, Alternative Careers in Legal Publishing, 33 Student Lawyer 24 (Dec. 2004).
Gerson, Donna, A Non-Legal Career With a Law Degree Takes Imagination But Can Make Sense, 31 Student Lawyer, (Dec. 2002).
Gerson, Donna. Wondering About Nonlegal Careers? Use the Resources Available to You, 33 Student Lawyer 5 (April 2005).
Greenberg, Hindi. So What Else Can You Do With Your Law Degree?, 22 GP Solo 42 (July-August 2005).
Meyerowitz, Steven A., Alternative Careers: Ten Ways to Make A Good Living with A Law Degree That You Might Not Have Thought About, 27 Pennsylvania Lawyer 14, (Jan./Feb. 2005).
Rigdon, Joan Indiana.Leaving the Law: Stories of Lawyers Who Decided to Embark on New Careers, 20 Washington Lawyer 20 (September 2005).
Samborn, Hope Viner, Left-Click, Left Law: Online Advice for Career-Changers Abounds if you Know Where To Find It, How to Use It, 92 ABA Journal 58 (July 2006).
Shik, Sara, Oh, the Places Your Juris Doctor Will Go, 74 Journal of the Kansas Bar Association 9, (Feb. 2005) (available in Westlaw).
National Association For Law Placement
1025 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 1110
Washington, DC 20036-5413
Tel: (202) 835-1001
Fax: (202) 835-1112
Virginia Bar Association
701 E. Franklin St., Suite 1120
Richmond, VA 23219
Tel: (804) 644-0041
Fax: (804) 644-0052
Virginia State Bar
Eighth & Main Bldg.
707 E. Main St., Ste. 1500
Richmond, VA 23219-2800
Tel: (804) 775-0500
Fax: (804) 775-0501
Many state bar associations have special interest sections and young lawyer sections, and some have a student membership category. Most have web sites, so check the Internet for your state bar's web address.
Additional associations providing career opportunities and/or information are listed under the appropriate subject heading in the "Career Sources by Topic" section below.
Career Sources by Topic
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Barrett, Jerome, A History of Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Story of a Political, Cultural, and Social Movement, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004.
STACKS KF9084 .B37
American Arbitration Association
1633 Broadway, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Tel: (212) 716-5800
Fax: (212) 716-5905
American Bar Association
Section of Dispute Resolution
740 15th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: (202) 662-1680
Fax: (202) 662-1683
El Kouri, Zahie, Vault Guide to Corporate Law Careers, New York: Vault, Inc., 2003.
CAREER SERVICES KF299 .I5E416
Nayler, Peter,Business Law in the Global Marketplace, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2005.
HD2755.5 N39 2005
200 Graves Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Tel: (800) 315-9777
Fax: (434) 985-2331
Lists "current jobs in environmental policy, communications & advocacy, conservation, engineering, research & education in non-profits, corporations, and the government."
Breaking Into the Academy: The 2000-2002 Michigan Journal of Race & Law Guide for Aspiring Law Professors, Chin, Gabriel J. & Denise C. Morgan, eds. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Law School, 2000.
This guide, which offers advice for “Law Professor Wannabes,” to quote one of the articles, is thorough and well-prepared, featuring articles that walk the aspiring academic through the application process, step-by-step, including advice on writing and publishing scholarship before entering academia. The guide features extensive lists of universities featuring Law Teaching Fellowship Programs, Graduate Degree Programs, and Legal Methods Teaching Programs. This guide is updated biannually.
Career Services KF272 .B74 2000
Goldberg, Stephanie, It's Academic: What Does It Take to Become a Law Professor? The Competition is Intense, but Most Say the Effort is Well Worth It, 31 Student Lawyer 16 (April 2003).
Association of American Law Schools
1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Ste. 800
Washington, DC 20036-2717
Tel: (202) 296-8851
Fax: (202) 296-8869
Federal Judicial Center
Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building
One Columbus Circle, N.E.
Washington, DC 20002-8003
Tel: (202) 502-4000
Fax: (202) 502-4099
National Center for State Courts
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147
Tel: (800) 616-6164
“alt.lawlibrarian”: New Career Paths for Law Librarians, 93 Law Library Journal 375 (2001).
Care and Maintenance of the Successful Career: How Experienced Law Librarians Make Their Work Rewarding, 93 Law Library Journal 540 (2001).
Greenfield, Elizabeth, Looking for Law in All the Right Places: Lawyers who Become Librarians are Happy to Make the Transition, 9 AALL Spectrum 8 (Dec. 2004).
Whisner, Mary, Update to Choosing Law Librarianship: Thoughts for People Contemplating a Career Move, April 4, 2008.
Why We Do What We Do; Perspectives in Law Librarianship: From Shifting Careers to Serving Law Firm Constituencies, 7 AALL Spectrum 12 (Nov. 2002).
American Association of Law Libraries
105 W. Adams St., Suite 3300
Chicago, IL 60603-6225
Phone: (312) 939-4764
The Ethics of Lobbying: Organized Interests, Political Power, and the Common Good, Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2002.
STACKS JK1118 .E85
Guide to Interest Groups and Lobbying in the United States, Washington: CQ Press, 2012.
Other organizations may be found using:
Encyclopedia of Associations. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Co., 1961-
Covers more than 100,000 nonprofit membership associations worldwide. Available on Lexis.