Category Archives: Exploring Non-Traditional Legal Jobs

An Inside Look at Companies Using Glassdoor.com

Keep Glassdoor.com in mind the next time you are researching companies where you would like to work.  Glassdoor provides an inside look at companies and jobs.  Company salaries, reviews and interviews are all posted anonymously by employees.  Thousands and thousands of companies are reviewed on this site, but companies are easy to find because they are grouped into categories. 

Thinking of a career with a charitable organization – check out the YMCA, the American Cancer Society, Catholic Relief Services, The Nature Conservancy,  or any of the 2,715 reviewed charitable organizations.  What about a career in insurance?  Check out All State, GEICO, State Farm, or any of the 2,153 reviewed insurance companies.  This site has everything from Aerospace & Defense companies to Transportation Services companies.

Are you wondering what kind of salary an Account Manager can make?  Check out the 5,735 salaries for Account Managers at 2,391 companies.  What about the salary of a Financial Advisor?  Check out the 1,355 salaries for Financial Advisors at 193 companies.

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NY Times Article on Midlife Career Changes

On Sunday the NY Times published an interesting article on midlife career changes.  The article features two former attorneys and does a really great job of highlighting the difficulties of following your career dreams – demanding hours (even demanding by an attorney’s standards), economic uncertainty, loss of career prestige.  The article is a reminder that the reality of following your dreams is never as idyllic as you imagine.  In the end, however, the obstacles make the journey richer. I won’t ruin the end of the article for you, but I urge you to read it – I think you will find it reaffirming.  Happy reading!  (Click here to read the article.)

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Filed under Exploring Alternative Legal Careers, Exploring Non-Traditional Legal Jobs

Using the Occupational Outlook Handbook in Your Alternative Career Search

The Occupational Outlook Handbook (“OOH”) is a fabulous resource for exploring career options.  Along with presenting detailed information on employment projections for hundreds of careers, the OOH provides summaries of the career field, work environment, training and qualifications, average salaries, related occupations, and professional organizations.  Ever thought about writing or editing?  Go to the OOH first to find out the latest trends in fields employing writers.  Just starting your career search and wondering what areas have the best prospects for job growth?  Go to the OOH Overview to discover that the number of compliance officer jobs is expected to increase and the employment services industry is expected to have large growth, but that you should stay away from jobs in textile production.  To check it out click here.

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Filed under Alternative Career Descriptions, Exploring Non-Traditional Legal Jobs

Alternative Legal Career v. Non-Traditional Legal Career

So you have heard the terms ‘alternative legal career’ and ‘non-traditional legal career,’ but what is the difference?  In everyday parlance, there isn’t a difference.  These terms are usually used interchangeably to refer to someone with a JD who is not practicing as an attorney in a law firm or government setting. 

While there isn’t a strict definition attached to either of these terms, I tend to distinguish them based on whether the job requires the person be licensed to practice law (although I still tend to use the terms interchangeably).  I think of alternative legal careers as those careers that do not require a person be licensed to practice law, but legal training and skills are a benefit in that position.  We reviewed a sampling of those types of careers in yesterday’s blog (found here).  On the other hand, I think of non-traditional legal careers as those careers that require a person be licensed to practice law, but the person is not practicing law in a “traditional” setting. 

What are some examples of non-traditional legal careers?  How about:

  1. In-House Counsel – While working as an attorney in a law firm or the government is considered a “traditional” legal career, being employed by a company is considered “non-traditional.”  Depending on the size and type of corporation there are many possible in-house counsel positions, including general counsel, assistant general counsel, deputy counsel, legal counsel, corporate counsel, employment counsel, and litigation counsel – just to name a few!
  2. Compliance Counsel – Compliance counsel are also typically employed by a company, but are usually distinct from in-house counsel.  Compliance counsel oversee the company’s compliance with a particular Act or regulation.  There are many different areas of concentration for a compliance counsel, for example banking, securities, insurance, health-care, ADA, environmental, wage and hour, and ethics.
  3. Judges – There are many different types of judges including trial court judges, appellate court judges, magistrate judges, and administrative law judges. 
  4. Legislative Counsel – Work environments for legislative counsel can range from departments in the government to non-profit organizations.  Legislative counsel are responsible for policy analysis as well as drafting, interpreting, and applying legislation.

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Filed under Alternative Career Descriptions, Exploring Alternative Legal Careers, Exploring Non-Traditional Legal Jobs