- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: American Bar Association; 5 edition (July 21, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590316754
- ISBN-13: 978-1590316757
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,607,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nonlegal Careers for Lawyers Paperback – July 21, 2006
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One of the main reasons I went to law school was because many top 100 ranking law schools advertised the versatility of a law degree. After three years of law school and two years of actual practice, however, it saddens me to say that, while there are plenty of lawyers who are successfully pursuing non-legal careers, they make up a miniscule portion of the hordes of JDs out there practicing law. While I thought this book would help and open my eyes to those non-lawyer career paths available for someone with a law degree, it didn't. This book offers tons of careers for people with a JD, but they all involve the actual practice of law. So while it does offer plenty of areas of law in which to practice, it does not offer "Non-legal Careers" as the title promises. Perhaps a change of title would be appropriate.
I am currently a third-year law student, in debt up to my eyballs, and after spending two summers clerking at small law firms, I realized that I do not want to become a lawyer. So how am I going to pay off my student loans??
This book was a good resource to get my mind in gear, to organize my priorities, and to begin thinking about what kind of job I'd like to have.
As it turns out, many of the careers profiled in this book are as uninteresting to me as the practice of law. Nevertheless, by the time I finished reading the book, I had a list of quite a few options to consider.
I bought this book along with another one, "The Lawyer's Career Change Handbook," which has more of a hands-on approach. Together, these books have been an invaluable resource for plotting the direction of my post-law-school life. After some background information on how to conduct a job search, how to assess one's skills, etc., "Nonlegal Careers" hightlights different types of careers, and includes little stories about people who were lawyers and ended up changing their jobs - either within the practice of law, or finding fulfilling careers outside of the law. While these little stories were cute, and a real-life application of the concepts set forth in the book, they sometimes seemed a bit fanciful, impractical, or unrealistic to me.
Other reviewers of this book and other books about non-legal careers seemed frustrated that the books don't say, "Here, Kathy, disgruntled law student, we think that you should become a teacher - and guess what? We're going to tell you how to do that without needing to get a teaching certificate, or any additional education." Of course the books don't give that kind of advice. What they are good for is making the reader think about potential options - other career paths within the law, career paths related to the law, and career paths that have nothing to do with the law. John Grisham is always listed in these books - he is an attorney, but gave up the practice of law to become an incredibly successful author. Readers of "Nonlegal Careers" need to understand that reading this book is not going to turn you into the next John Grisham. But maybe, if you are already a talented creative writer (which I most definietly am not!), the book will encourage you to investigate a career as a writer.
This book is great as a way to begin thinking about alternative careers - but it is just a begining. (And, really, it doesn't claim to be any more than that.) No book written by someone you have never met is going to be able to tell you what to do with your life! Take this book for what it is - a step in the right direction toward a fulfilling career.
"Nonlegal Careers for Lawyers" is a wondeful guide, but it might be just as useful to check it out of the library as to have it on your shelf.