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What Do I Do With My Law Degree? Overcoming Legal Job Market Saturation

The oversaturation of the legal job market is causing many hopeful law students to take a hard look at their career plans. J.D. advantage jobs are one solution for recent law graduates - a temporary move for some, a permanent career choice for others.

Published August 21, 2017

What’s a J.D. advantage job?

If you’re wondering what you can do with a law degree in a highly competitive market, consider this path. It’s any career in which having a J.D. degree gives you a leg up. These careers do not require you to pass the bar exam or have an active law license.

For example, those in the medical or academic fields may specialize in litigation, compliance, or risk management. The roles may be non-law, or may involve an element of law practice. As J.D. advantage jobs aren’t an official sector, they’re incredibly varied across industries.

List of J.D. Advantage Jobs

The most common industries that offer these jobs are business, government, public interest, and academia.

  • Corporate contracts administrator
  • Alternative dispute resolution specialist - mediator, arbitrator
  • Government regulatory analyst
  • FBI agent
  • Accountant
  • Personnel or human resources
  • Investment banks
  • Management consulting
  • Compliance work for business and industry
  • Law firm professional development
  • Law school career services offices, admissions offices, or other law school administrative offices
  • Legal temp
  • Fed, state, local executive/administration
  • State legislative
  • Policy/advocacy

Over two-thirds of JD Advantage jobs were reported as full-time and lasting at least a year. This figure varied by sector, from just 39% in academia to 79% in business.

Obviously, if you’re considering a J.D. advantage job, it’s best to start your search within your area of expertise or study. While your degree gives you an advantage, it will not guarantee employment in these industries.

That said, looking beyond the legal field for employment is a smart move for any lawyer struggling with market oversaturation. Here are the most common non-law jobs for J.D. graduates.

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Guest blogger Ashley Wilson-Rew is Content Strategist & SEM at protocol 80, Inc.

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