Career Toolkit

Career Toolkit: Alternative Careers for Lawyers

Type of Resource Resource Description
Website ABA: Alternative Legal Careers Articles, webinars, and videos to assist you in leveraging your legal background, identify your interests, and pivot toward a new career.
Book Alternative Careers for Lawyers Lawyers have the highest depression rates, highest pressure, lowest popularity ratings, and the longest hours of almost any profession that exists. No wonder that according to a recent poll 70% of lawyers surveyed said they would start a new career if they could. If you are disillusioned by the realities of law practice or want to get into a different type of law, then you can start a new career. In Alternative Careers for Lawyers, you’ll hear from many people who managed successful transitions: one of them is an NBC news anchor, another started her own bicycle tours company, and yet another built a $20 million attorney temp agency. The book will show you how to manage every step of this uncertain yet ultimately liberating process.
Book Life After Law: Finding Work You Love with the J.D. You Have Written by Harvard-trained ex-law firm partner Liz Brown, Life After Law: Finding Work You Love with the J.D. You Have provides specific, realistic, and honest advice on alternative careers for lawyers. Unlike generic career guides, Life AfterLaw shows lawyers how to reframe their legal experience to their competitive advantage, no matter how long they have been in or out of practice, to find work they truly love. Brown herself moved from a high-powered partnership into an alternative career and draws from this experience, as well as that of dozens of former practicing attorneys, in the book. She acknowledges that changing careers is hard much harder than it was for most lawyers to get their first legal job after law school but it can ultimately be more fulfilling for many than a life in law. Life After Law offers an alternative framework and valuable analytic tools for potential careers to help launch lawyers into new fields and make them attractive hires for non-legal employers.
Blog Leaving the law: 24 realistic alternative careers for lawyers This is a list of realistic alternative careers for lawyers that don’t require you to spend the next 10 years studying. Some of them are a big leap across from practice, others are more of a tip-toe. But, they all have one thing in common; you’ll be utilising some of the same skills you developed in your first few years in practice. If you’re considering leaving big law, you need to read this list. If you’re still in law school and haven’t experienced practice for yourself just yet, maybe you’ll consider one of these alternative careers for lawyers instead of the traditional path.
Website Leave Law Behind Learn if leaving the law is right for you. This site includes articles, a podcast, and success stories of lawyers who have left the law. Leave the Law Behind also offers a career transition course designed specifially for lawyers.
Podcast Love or Leave the Law Are you a lawyer who’s unhappy with your current law practice, but unclear as to how to make it better or whether you should just leave law altogether? It’s time to take control of your life and develop a successful life strategy that will help you really connect with your practice of law, or find a path to a new and fulfilling career with Love or Leave the Law. Join former practicing attorneys Adam Ouellette (author and founder of and Casey Berman (founder of as they tackle the struggles of making life changes that will help you optimize your legal practice, or guide you on your path out of the law and into an alternative “non-law” career.
Website Alternative Careers for Lawyers Berkeley offers resources and program series for those considering a non-traditional legal path.
Website Alternative Careers for Lawyers Ultimate Resource An exhaustive guide for lawyers considering an alternative career, including websites, books, podcasts, programs, associations, videos, coaches, and personal stories.
Video Career Development Series: Choosing and Pursuing Alternative Careers This is an ABA Career Center panel. We know lawyers think about changing careers, not just changing jobs. If you are contemplating moving beyond a traditional role for a lawyer, join our stand-out speakers with experience in leaving law behind and charting new directions. Learn about what kinds of non-traditional roles you might contemplate; job search obstacles you may encounter…and how to overcome them; and shifts in describing yourself and your skills that can help you land an alternative career.
Video Career Development Series: How to Find an Alternative Career as a Lawyer This is an ABA Career Center panel. If you’ve ever been thinking of using your law degree in a new way, or taking yourself in a new path altogether, join us to hear personal experience, motivating stories and actionable tips and lessons from real live lawyers who have now moved onto a new alternative career.
Website The Former Lawyer Podcast If you’re looking for clarity, support and a safe space to share your curiosity about a different reality—one where you no longer practice law—you’ve found the right place. This site features a podcast from a former lawyer.
Website JD Careers Out There The mission of JDCOT is to help you find career fulfillment using your law degree. Whether you want to explore jobs with a law degree that are actually in law or you want to leave the law for alternative careers because you’re unfulfilled and tired of the stress, you’ve come to the right place. This site helps you discover that there’s a wide variety of equally legitimate directions you can take your law background. Private and group coaching programs are available, as well as videos and articles.
Podcast Finding Alternative Careers in the Law In this episode of the ABA Law Student Podcast, host Sandy Gallant-Jones talks with Above the Law Editor Joe Patrice, CuroLegal CEO Chad Burton, LegalZoom General Counsel Chas Rampenthal, Clio Lawyer in Residence Joshua Lenon, and Legal Talk Network Executive Producer Laurence Colletti about alternative careers in law.

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