Being a lawyer is a rewarding profession. But it can be very difficult. Many lawyers quit law after years of practice for several reasons. For instance, lawyers work on several cases at a time. And chasing deadlines proves to be a Herculean task for many.
There’s also a lot of pressure and stress. Some lawyers handle cases that can take an emotional toll on them. And they can only take so much emotional pressure before they break down. Add to that all the extra hours they have to put in for work, it’s only normal for lawyers to feel burnout and exhaustion.
Lawyers who opt to leave law can still have a promising future ahead of them. Changing careers is normal in any field. In addition, lawyers have many valuable skills and abilities that are transferable. So they don’t have to start from zero.
A former lawyer can pursue a career in counseling instead. While this isn’t exactly stepping away from the law, counseling offers a different work environment.
Working as an in-house lawyer for a startup business is a good start. A startup business owner is mostly in need of legal counseling. Starting a business involves a lot of legal processes, such as registering the business, employment contracts, licensing, and many others.
Education can also be a promising career for former lawyers. With many years of experience practicing law, former lawyers can become effective law professors and inspire others by sharing their personal experiences. Former lawyers can also teach other subjects instead, even if they’re not related to law.
But becoming a teacher may take more than just field experience. A former lawyer may have to take additional courses on education theory and pedagogy. But this extra work will be worthwhile if they’re really passionate about becoming an educator.
Content writers and copywriters are in demand in many industries. Former lawyers with a knack for writing can pursue it as a career. They can start a blog and write about anything they want to.
They can blog with educational content about law. For instance, they can teach a layperson about the process of posting bail or the best practices to avoid breaking traffic laws. As the saying goes, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. But one also can’t expect everyone to be well-adept with the law, especially if they didn’t receive formal education and training like lawyers did. Thus, this blog will be extremely helpful.
But if someone wants to leave law practice behind, they can write about their interests instead. The analytical skills of former lawyers will definitely help them create amazing content.
An ex-lawyer can also start their own business. They can pursue something they’re passionate about. For instance, many former lawyers chose this route and opened their own startup businesses in the field of IT and software-as-a-service industries.
Their knowledge of the law will prove useful when they go through processes needed to kick their business off the ground. They can also use their connections to spread the word about their business or turn these connections into clients.
Persuasion and negotiation are important in the practice of law. And one career where ex-lawyers can make use of these skills is marketing. For instance, marketers need to be persuasive to attract leads, connect with others, and nurture that connection.
This field is significantly different from practicing law. But this drastic change can be very motivating for ex-lawyers who want to leave law behind and take on something new. Marketing will allow ex-lawyers to express their creativity.
Lawyers meet people from different walks of life. So they are exposed to a diverse population that can widen their perspective about things. Also, lawyers need to have keen attention to detail. They also have to be emphatic but still objective.
These experiences and skills combined make former lawyers great career coaches. Ex-lawyers can draw from personal experience and use that to give advice to those who are seeking a professional path. Former lawyers are also trained to provide practical advice to their clients. And this skill will translate well in giving career seekers unbiased advice.
This list is in no way exhaustive. It barely scratches the surface of possible alternative career paths for former lawyers. They can pursue whichever career they desire. And they may not need to go back to square one since they have most of the ingredients to succeed in different industries. It will all boil down to their passion for their new career.