Tag Archives: Career Exploration

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

So What Can I Do with My JD?

I often hear the question, “So, what can I do with my JD other than practice law?”  That is a very broad question!!  And the very broad answer is, “Almost* anything!”   

Deciding what kind of alternative legal career is right for you depends on a lot factors.  One of the biggest factors is your background – your undergraduate degree, any other graduate level degrees, and prior work experience.  It also depends on your interests, your goals, and your network of connections.

Further, what you can do with your JD can be thought of as a continuum – on one end, those jobs that are very closely related to being an attorney (think paralegal) and on the other end, those jobs where having a law degree helps develop your skills but is not required (think real estate developer). 

So what are some job examples along that continuum?

Closely related careers

  • Paralegal
  • Contract administrator
  • Law school librarian
  • Insurance claims examiner
  • Compliance officer
  • Dispute resolution professional
  • Clerk of court
  • Lobbyist
  • Undergraduate legal studies instructor
  • Grant writer
  • ADA coordinator
  • Director of law firm marketing
  • Law enforcement officer
  • Market research analyst
  • Journalist
  • Financial planner
  • Real estate agent

Indirectly related careers

These are just a very few examples of what you can do!  Since everyone is unique, it is a good idea to meet with a career counselor to find a field or area of alternative legal careers that is right for you. 

*Like any good attorney, everything must be prefaced!! 

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Filed under Alternative Career Descriptions, Exploring Alternative Legal Careers

Know Yourself, Know Your Career

So you know that you don’t want to practice law, but you don’t know what you want to do?  The first step in any career exploration is to learn about yourself.  Being self-aware will allow you to articulate why you want a certain career and why you are qualified. 

There are many, many different self-assessment tests and indicators out there (many of which we will explore in this blog).  So, where do you start?  An easy, quick place to start is with an online personality test.  So try a few and begin exploring!  (Click on the links below to go to the test.)

  • Human Metrics – Free Jung typology personality test.  Provides a list of occupations most suitable for your personality type.
  • Keirsey – Free personality test.  Personalities are broken down into four tempermants.  Tempermants are further subdivided into subcategories. 
  • My Plan – Offers 4 career assessment tests to help you find out what your interests are and understand how they relate to choosing a career.  A complete report for all 4 reports is $19.95 or purchase individual reports for $7.95 – $9.95.

You can also make an appointment with Ginny Swartz in the Mental Health Counseling Department to take a comprehesive Myers-Briggs personality test.

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Filed under Self-Assessment

Have You Found Your Path? Will You Take It?

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
— exerpt taken from Robert Frost: The Road Not Taken

Each person has a unique set of abilities, talents and passions.  I hope that this blog will help you to discover yours and use them in a way that helps to make your life richer – even if that means taking a different path than your law school classmates. 

In order to find your path, you need to know what makes you unique.  Have you done the self-analysis necessary to know what makes you unique?  (If not, don’t worry – in coming blog posts we’ll explore how to do this.) 

If you are unhappy in your chosen career, the feelings will be there whether you acknowlege them or not.  So you might as well deal with the mushy stuff now.  Discover what you love, what you hate, and what you can’t live without.  Find the difference between what you think you should want and what you actually want.  Learn how to make that vision you have become a reality.

There is not just one road to a fulfilling life.  You may have to take some twists, turns and re-routes to find it.  And what brought you fulfillment at one time in your life may, for whatever reason, no longer work for you.  No two paths will ever be the same.  So do not ever copy someone else’s; rather, learn from everyone’s and make your own.  And that will make all the difference!

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Filed under Self-Assessment