Thinking About Law School
Types of Practice
Law graduates have in the past obtained legal, nonlegal, and full- and part-time jobs from the following general types of employers:
- Private Practice—includes all positions within a law firm, including solo practitioner, associate, law clerk, paralegal, and administrative or support staff.
- Public Interest—includes positions funded by the Legal Services Corporation and others providing civil, legal, and indigent services. Also includes public defenders as well as positions with unions, nonprofit advocacy groups, and cause-related organizations.
- Government—includes all levels and branches of government, including prosecutor positions, positions with the military, and all other agencies, such as the US Small Business Administration, state or local transit authorities, congressional committees, law enforcement, and social services.
- Judicial Clerkship—a one- or two-year appointment clerking for a judge on the federal, state, or local level.
- Business and Industry—includes positions in accounting firms; insurance companies; banking and financial institutions; corporations, companies, and organizations of all sizes, such as private hospitals, retail establishments, and consulting and public relations firms; political campaigns; and trade associations.
- Academic—includes work as a law professor, law librarian, administrator, or faculty member in higher education or other academic settings, including elementary and secondary schools.
Nonlegal Careers for Lawyers
Law-trained individuals pursue a wide variety of careers, and the skills they acquire discussed in Lawyers and Their Skills provide excellent training for law school graduates who pursue directions outside the practice of law itself. Lawyers work in business, government, the media, academia, law enforcement, public relations, foreign service, politics, and administration.