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Life After Law School

Dec 2, 2007
As a legal professional, the experience a student acquires before, during and immediately after law school is essential in the attempt to cement a lucrative practice and business. These experiences help to develop a profitable professional network, which comes in handy later on.

Who Hires Law School Graduates?

This depends on what type of law school a person has attended. If it is a nationally recognized law school, almost 70% of graduates work in large law firms, 15% go on to becoming judicial clerks, while 10% work for legal aid nonprofits or the government as public defenders, assistant district attorneys or federal agencies.

The remaining 5% pursue other graduate programs, take up academic positions or setup individual businesses. At schools with a more regional emphasis, graduates usually have government positions in the public interest or take jobs in small law practices.

Career Options

You could take a job as an attorney. However, you should keep in mind that if the firm you belong to is large, you should always try to retain a certain level of control over your career. In addition to professional life, you ought to keep control on personal life as well. Besides working in law firms, some individuals choose to work in private businesses. Lawyers usually gain experience and go on to become in-house corporate attorneys. The legal departments of many corporations offer salaried positions and the opportunity to get experience in corporate contracts and litigation.

Lawyers are not expected to lead their entire professional life in the corporate environment. You can also choose to work for the government or become a public defender. This involves defending criminal cases where the defendants are short of funds and unable to hire private legal representation. Besides this, you could also become an assistant attorney, where you work under a lead attorney and help in prosecutions.

If you are leaning toward venturing out in the legal world alone, you could become a solo practitioner. This means that you are your own boss. What services you wish to offer and how much you charge would be solely up to you. However, there are some disadvantages to this approach. You will have to lease office space, pay employees and handle the bookkeeping for the practice.

Irrespective of the choices you make after law school, there is a wide plethora of opportunities available. Follow your heart and work towards achieving your goals consistently.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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