After repeated requests for more alternative jobs for lawyers, I have decided to add to the previous article 6 Alternative jobs for Lawyers Jobs. These are merely some thoughts which can perhaps get those brain cells working to help you to discover your talents and give some direction as to where you may concentrate your efforts.
o Motivational Speaker
This was motivated by a comment left by an anonymous reader. There could very well be something in the suggestion that lawyers should try public speaking. Look at some of the well known motivational speakers like Les Brown and John Dmytryszyn. What skills do these guys possess? They are comfortable speaking to a large audience, they can tell personal stories of their own unhappiness or discontent, they can speak of overcoming adversity and they can convince you to make the choices they recommend. So they are usually eloquent, persuasive, engaging and perhaps flamboyant raconteurs. I would say that pretty much sums up a fine trial lawyer. Francine Ward is one lawyer who did it.
o Poker Player
Interestingly this was also inspired by a lawyer/commenter who was quite likely speaking tongue in cheek. Now don’t laugh and don’t end up like the compulsive lawyer/gambler Arelia Taveras. The point of this suggestion however is to stress that you can make a living out of something you love and it has been done as evidenced by the story of Greg Fossilman Raymer who rose from relative obscurity as a Patent lawyer to achieve notoriety as the 2004 World Series Poker champion. As Greg himself states on his website, he took from the strengths he gained as a lawyer and applied them to poker.
“If you’re a litigator or do a lot of negotiation, then you have to be able to read people well, and determine when they’re bluffing or lying, and when they’re not. As such, lawyers who have that type of practice, and who do well at it, are probably in a position to quickly become very good poker players.”
o Career Coach
Who better than someone who has been through the rigors of law school and the legal profession to guide attorneys both inside and outside the law. I already mentioned Monica Parker who helps unhappy lawyers careers outside of the law. Julie Fleming-Brown is also a trained lawyer who provides professional and personal coaching for lawyers. You may be very organized or perhaps you notice aspects of the practice that you feel strongly could do with improvement but your firm gives little or no value to your ideas, you may have a gift for organizational or human resource management or you may be an excellent motivator. Instead of holding your head over a stack of files for hours or butting heads with other lawyers in the court room you may be happier helping them to achieve better work/life balance inside or outside the law.
o Legal Recruiter
A legal recruiter with a legal background is often viewed as an asset. Here is a person who understands how the legal profession works, how lawyers think and interact and the needs of law firms. Some of the talents for a career coach may be applied here as well and a legal recruiter with excellent coaching skills will probably gain an excellent reputation and build a great business. Here are two examples of lawyers turned legal recruiters Felig/Lindy Legal and Abacus Legal Jobs. Note they both reject the notion that they just offer employment service. The former emphasizes the breadth of their offerings and the latter relies on the reach of their expertise across the globe with their slogan run by lawyers for lawyers.
o Legal Correspondent
You have seen them haven’t you? Star Jones and Cynthia McFadden come to mind. You take the inside knowledge you have of the law and with your excellent communicating skills you explain the wranglings and machinations of a civil suit, a criminal case or issues concerning judges, lawyers and the esoteric legal community as a whole to the public. Who knows you may even step up and get your own show or an anchor position on primetime TV.
o Private Investigator
Oh yes. I am sure you have read novels where the protagonist is the lawyer turned private eye. They always seem to be down and broke however. So it is likely that most lawyers would view this as a step down but some of us are more than snoops we have strong investigative talents and are quite competent at intelligence gathering with some business savyy to back it up. We are also masters at reading between the lines or seeing through the scam so why not consider this field. You won’t be limited to checking out whether Mr. R and his colleague are spending their lunch hour at the colleague’s apartment but the range is wide encompassing Business Intelligence Gathering, Database Investigations, IP investigations, Civil and Criminal Investigations and more. Michael D. Rothman and Todd A. Carozza both qualified attorneys established their own investigative firm.
Greg the poker player discusses the contribution of both his science and legal background. This is enlightening. Most lawyers already have at least two degrees. If you can harness and leverage the sets of skills you gained and developed in those areas you most likely could find a way to find the job which is ideal for you.