Careers in Law That Don’t Require a Return to School

Working in law can be well-compensated and rewarding. If the idea of working in this field is intriguing, but you are not sure that law school is for you, you may want to explore the many other career paths that utilise similar strengths and interests.

You may work in one of these jobs for a few years and decide that returning to school is what you want after all. And if not? You have a career that is stable and allows you to provide a comfortable life for yourself.

Working as an attorney is demanding, and if it is not something you think you would enjoy, you should not go back to school. There are a variety of jobs available that allow you to get a better understanding of what a lawyer’s job is like. Working in the legal field, but not as an attorney, is still rewarding, important work.

The first few years working in the field may offer lower pay. Once you gain experience, you can find employment at large firms that offer excellent compensation. Refinancing your student loans from undergraduate school allows you to save money while you build your career. If you are interested in exploring your options before committing to law school, consider one of these careers. Legal Secretary

The duties of a legal secretary are similar to those of an administrative assistant. In a typical law office, the amount of paperwork, level of detail, and specific nature of the work require a higher level of training than would be required in many other offices. Attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure are priorities. Paralegal

There are certificates and degree programs that train you for this job. As a paralegal, you will be responsible for much of the paperwork involved in a case, such as performing research and drafting pleadings. The work is often fast-paced and deadline-driven. There can be an overlap between the work performed by the legal secretary and that performed by the paralegal. If you are interested in working in law, but do not feel confident in your background, this […]

What About the Bar Exam After the 2020 Dust Settles?

My thoughts and prayers go out to the (tens of) thousands of students who are slated to take remote bar exams in several states (including large states like California, New York, and Illinois) a little over two weeks from now, on October 5 and 6. Many people (myself included) are worried about technological glitches that might plague such a massive online undertaking, but I will be hoping for the best.

When the dust settles on the summer/fall 2020 bar exam cycle, many commentators and analysts will likely want to revisit why we have (indeed whether we need) bar exams for legal licensure, and (assuming we retain bar exams) what such exams should look like going forward. Diploma Privilege: Two Observations

Some folks in various states this summer advocated (albeit mostly unsuccessfully) for “diploma privilege,” an idea that means different things to different people but which, as a general matter, refers to an approach that allows law school graduates, under certain circumstances and subject to certain limitations, to be licensed without having to take and pass a bar exam. These folks may think the diploma-privilege idea makes sense not just in COVID-19 times, but in normal times too. That is a big topic for sure, and one I won’t have space to take up thoroughly today. I will, however, make just two, quick observations.

First, the way some states have implemented diploma privilege—by limiting it to or favoring graduates of in-state law schools—is, as I’ve written , blatantly unconstitutional. (Readers interested in this should look carefully at the earlier Verdict essay linked in the previous sentence.)

Second, because diploma privilege hasn’t been used extensively throughout the country in the modern era (during which time the number of law schools has expanded and the entrance requirements and attrition rates of law schools have fluctuated quite a bit), there is a lack of empirical data on the question whether the quality of lawyering would be affected by extending diploma privilege to graduates of all ABA-approved law schools in 2020. For example, resort to the experience of the state of Wisconsin is of limited value since […]

Here’s how Emory Law prepares professionals for impactful legal careers

Source: Emory University – School of Law Fijian student Seruwaia Nayacalevu came to the School of Law at Emory University (Emory Law) to broaden her horizons, both personally and professionally. With a Master of Laws (LLM) programme that could be tailored to her interests and the many memories she created with her diverse cast of collegiate cohorts, it wasn’t long before she achieved her goal. Source: Emory University, School of Law While working on her LLM, Nayacalevu covered a wide variety of topics, from business law and civil procedure to family law and legal writing. “I told myself I would do other law courses that I normally don’t practise as a way of challenging myself personally. At the same time, I took up subjects that aligned with the law I already practise,” she says.

At Emory Law, students experience a combination of academic rigour and practical learning opportunities within a global environment. Students may structure their postgraduate curriculum around their professional interests and ambitions, allowing them to pursue the career path they want — either within the US or in the world of professional possibilities available outside.

“Emory Law’s LLM provides the opportunity for those with a first degree in law to develop additional specialised skills and training. Students get the opportunity to participate in class alongside Juris Doctor (JD) students and to integrate more fully into that community,” says Rebecca Purdom, who is Professor of Practice as well as Executive Director of Graduate and Online Programmes. Build a foundation for excellent legal service

Nayacalevu now applies her knowledge and experiences from Emory Law as a lawyer that practises in the area of family and civil law in Fiji, and as a seasonal consultant lecturer with the University of the South Pacific. She shares, “I was given the opportunity to be the face-to-face coordinator for the legal drafting course and teach at the Fiji campus. It was funny because legal writing was one of the areas I wanted to improve on at Emory, and now I am teaching it!”

Her story reflects how Emory Law sets its graduates up for professional success […]

Law school deans reflect on COVID-19 impact

Students practice social distancing during a lecture on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020 in the Texas Tech School of Law. The school’s staff has implemented multiple changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Law students across the country have faced a variety of challenges from March onward as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The Texas Tech School of Law has seen multiple changes to ensure the education process is effective.

Throughout the United States, different universities implemented certain precautions for their law schools, which involved declaring fall 2020 classes to be all online or utilizing a hybrid method of course delivery, according to the U.S. News and World Report website. Some law school applicants will not be able to visit a campus in which they are interested.

At the Tech law school, students, faculty and staff may see a variety of changes to how they operate.

Wendy-Adele Humphrey, associate dean for academic affairs at the law school, said the transition to distance learning in March was huge for the entire law school community.

People within the law school embraced the situation the pandemic caused as much as they could, Humphrey said. Although, a plan for education delivery during this fall semester was started as soon as possible before the summer.

“We prioritized in-person experience, which is consistent with what the university did as well,” she said.

Hybrid courses and alternating-attendance courses are other options the Tech School of Law have utilized, Humphrey said.

“One thing that we thought was important for our law students was to provide them with a level of flexibility,” she said, “and so, we allowed our students to opt out of attending in-person, and so, our courses are livestreamed.”

The American Bar Association is an accrediting body Humphrey said has standards regarding class attendance, which have not been changed in light of the pandemic.With almost all courses having a live stream option, Humphrey said students displaying COVID-19 symptoms still can participate in class.Education delivery also may depend on different aspects, such as the size of the incoming class.Danielle Saavedra, assistant dean of admissions at the law school, said there were a lot of conversations in March regarding […]

An Interview With Aspiring Agent Michael Raymond of Raymond Representation

Michael Raymond is a second-year law student at the University of Miami School of Law and the founder of Raymond Representation, an athlete management and marketing company. After graduating from UCF and studying economics and sports business management, Raymond enrolled at Miami Law with plans of becoming an NBA agent. Raymond was the student President of UCF’s Sports Business club “The Minor That’s Major” where his interests in becoming an agent grew. During this past summer, Raymond launched his own athlete management company, Raymond Representation. You can read the transcript of his interview with SportsAgentBlog below:

Josh Goldberg: Why did you start Raymond Representation?

Raymond: Once COVID started, like a lot of law students, I was planning on interning for an agency but then everything kind of got shut down. Over the months during COVID, I was thinking I always wanted to start an athlete management company. My ultimate goal is to be an agent. So why not just start now? A lot of people say you have to be done with law school, that you have to work under an agent and so on. But I’ve already worked under two agents and a business manager and had really good mentors. I feel like I’ve learned a lot and I just felt like why not start now and get the ball rolling. It’s been the best blessing in disguise. COVID has really shifted my mindset. I thought why not use my professional network I’ve been building for 5-6 years throughout UCF and Miami to help these athletes now while I can.

JG: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced and hurdle you have overcome thus far?

Raymond: I’ve only been doing this for about two months now so I’m pretty new at this. One of the biggest challenges for me personally has been managing all of my law school tasks. I’m someone that grinds 24/7 and I’ve been interning for a law firm and I’m also involved with the entertainment and sports law society at Miami, while also being in my second year of law […]

Crowdfunding wannabe barrister pledges free careers advice in return for donations

Mohamed Hussein Iman needs £15k to start GDL Mohamed Hussein Iman An aspiring barrister seeking to raise almost £15,000 to cover the cost of the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is offering free tuition and careers advice in return for donations.

In a bid to get the public to part with their cash, University of Oxford history grad Mohamed Hussein Iman has pledged to donate one hour of his time to students from under-represented or disadvantaged backgrounds for every £15 donated to his cause.

Croydon-born Iman — who was raised by his mother, a Somali Muslim immigrant who arrived in the UK unable to speak English — says the 60-minute sessions can cover everything from A-Level advice through to pointers on university applications.

The 23-year-old’s pledge comes after he received an offer to study the GDL at City University Law School and now needs to raise £14,900 to cover his tuition fees and living costs. He has so far raised just over £7,000 .

“Unfortunately the bar has severe access issues,” Iman writes on his crowdfunding page. “Financially, for non-law undergraduates such as myself, the GDL is expensive, with student finance unavailable for the course I have chosen to pursue.”

Iman, who intends to work throughout his studies, says he remains undeterred from a career at the bar despite exhausting scholarship options and resorting to crowdfunding to raise the cash.

“I’d like to be a barrister rather than a solicitor because of the advocacy potential,” Iman told Legal Cheek . “I would like to directly represent clients and be vocal about their causes, and a career at the bar lets me do this.”

He continued: “I would also like to practise human rights law but since I haven’t started my GDL, I am not sure what area I’d most enjoy, be interested in or be good at.”

The bar hopeful has already received backing from barrister turned daytime TV celeb Judge Rinder, who last month shared Iman’s fundraising page along with the tweet: “If we are serious and — honestly — care about social mobility we need to help Mo.”This isn’t the first time a student […]

A Message to 1Ls from HALB

Lutzow (Left) and Antono (Right) Genevieve “Gennie” Antono and Trevor Lutzow are both 3Ls and the Co-Presidents of the Harvard Association for Law and Business (HALB). We interviewed Gennie and Trevor about their experience at HLS and asked them if they had any advice for the incoming class of 2023.

Q. What was your 1L year at HLS like?

Gennie: 1L was such a weird time for me. Especially 1L Fall. It was by no means a “bad” experience, but I definitely felt a little unmoored. I was struggling with a bit of impostor syndrome and was worried that I had peaked by getting into HLS. I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and what I wanted to get out of HLS.

The funny thing is that once I stopped stressing about what “gold stars” to collect, and gave up on trying to look like I have my life figured out, I really started thriving at HLS. I found a great group of friends and started investing my time and energy into unplanned projects that sparked joy, such as the HALB Leadership Podcast. Really glad I took that approach. Nowadays I’m just happy and living my best 3L life.

Trevor: I loved my 1L year (yes, really). I met 80 great people in my section, enjoyed my classes and professors (for the most part) and learned a ton. The vast majority of folks at HLS are incredibly kind — if not a little quiet — so putting yourself out there is surprisingly easy.

As a 1L, I was also fortunate enough to meet countless 2Ls and 3Ls, through HALB and other organizations, who helped make the 1L experience less intimidating They were there to answer my questions and provide me with school and life advice when I felt like I needed some.

Q. How did being in HALB change your HLS experience?

Gennie: I like to say that running HALB is a full-time job; in a typical year, the club runs 90+ events annually. Last year there were a few […]

Tangible Success at Virtual Law School

To gain a sense of how professors have had to adapt to a new style of teaching, we sat down with Assistant Professor of Law Maureen “Molly” Brady, the recently selected Section 3 Leader and a recipient of the 2020 Student Government Teaching and Advising Awards. Interview conducted and condensed by The Record President Robert Mahari.

Q. What is the most challenging aspect of teaching law online?

We all miss the human connection, immensely. There’s something about being in the classroom — being able to laugh, think seriously, receive visual feedback from your teacher — that’s really important. I pay a lot of attention to whether my students are bored or zoning out, and I miss the sense of shared enterprise in the classroom environment, which is difficult to replicate when you see just 25 faces on Zoom.

Unlike last semester, you won’t start the term sitting next to people. You will need to get to know one another and figure out who your “neighbors” are in a new context. Another major challenge is not a result of being online, but a function of the difficult circumstances presented by the pandemic: There’s an immense level of stress that ebbs and flows for all of us. I describe it as the “pandemic up and downs.” Some days you are just unexpectedly emotional about something. As students deal with this, it will impact their focus and, as an instructor, being compassionate is really essential right now. That’s a challenge for us — to have the high expectations that we should at HLS but also to maintain compassion.

Q. How has your teaching style adapted to this new format?

One of the most important things in the online classroom is transparency and structure. It is really hard to sit in a Zoom room when you have no sense of what is coming, so it is important to be more transparent and provide more structure to students and really have a concrete plan about how to use your time together most effectively.

Also, like I said, you will not be sitting next to someone […]

A Message to 1Ls from HLAB

Lutzow (Left) and Antono (Right) Genevieve “Gennie” Antono and Trevor Lutzow are both 3Ls and the Co-Presidents of the Harvard Association for Law and Business (HALB). We interviewed Gennie and Trevor about their experience at HLS and asked them if they had any advice for the incoming class of 2023.

Q. What was your 1L year at HLS like?

Gennie: 1L was such a weird time for me. Especially 1L Fall. It was by no means a “bad” experience, but I definitely felt a little unmoored. I was struggling with a bit of impostor syndrome and was worried that I had peaked by getting into HLS. I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and what I wanted to get out of HLS.

The funny thing is that once I stopped stressing about what “gold stars” to collect, and gave up on trying to look like I have my life figured out, I really started thriving at HLS. I found a great group of friends and started investing my time and energy into unplanned or erratic projects that sparked joy, such as the HALB Leadership Podcast. Really glad I took that approach. Nowadays I’m just happy and living my best 3L life.

Trevor: I loved my 1L year (yes, really). I met 80 great people in my section, enjoyed my classes and professors (for the most part) and learned a ton. The vast majority of folks at HLS are incredibly kind — if not a little quiet — so putting yourself out there is surprisingly easy.

As a 1L, I was also fortunate enough to meet countless 2Ls and 3Ls, through HALB and other organizations, who helped make the 1L experience less intimidating They were there to answer my questions and provide me with school and life advice when I felt like I needed some.

Q. How did being in HALB change your HLS experience?

Gennie: I like to say that running HALB is a full-time job; in a typical year, the club runs 90+ events annually. Last year there were […]

Should Harvard Law School Change You?

Randall Kennedy When entering a new environment, we always face the question of how willing we should be to allow our beliefs and ideals to change. To help us answer just that, we asked Randall Kennedy, the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law, to share his views on just how law school can — or should — change you. Interview conducted and condensed by Robert Mahari.

Q. How have you seen students change during their time at HLS?

A. Education is change. On day one, students might view a particular legal problem with no real knowledge as to how it might be solved. Over three years they learn how a problem might be solved through application of doctrines, legislation and so on. Apart from gaining substantive knowledge, students develop certain habits, such as the sober second look, and the idea of looking at things from another person’s point of view — an adversary’s point of view.

Q. How do you explain the observation that many incoming students’ stated ambition is to drive positive change, yet most students leave HLS to practice at large firms?

A. Over the years I have heard a recurrent complaint: Students come to law school wanting to engage in social change, and the law school then undermines these ambitions. Basically, the complaint is that law school has a corrosive effect; people come in wanting to be Ralph Nader yet leave as complacent tools for whoever is willing to pay them the most. I’m skeptical of that complaint.

I question the depth of the commitment of complainants who renounce their aspirations while pointing an accusing finger at their surroundings. I’ve known many people who entered law school with idealistic intentions and finished law school with those idealistic intentions still very much in place, in fact, reinforced. One of the great things about HLS is that it is a big place that can help people realize their ambitions with the understanding that those ambitions do vary dramatically.

I know that going to a firm is often portrayed as some sort of capitulation, as if people who […]

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