What Can You Do With a Law Degree?
The skills possessed by law graduates are transferable across many industries and relevant in many alternative careers. A career in law does not only include one in practice, but also in-house corporate positions, business development, corporate affairs, human resources and management, among others. Here are some of the roles that can be accessed with a law degree.
1. Claims adjuster
Claims adjusters are called in by insurance companies to verify claims through interviews with claimants and witnesses, consultations with the police, and inspections of hospital records and property damage to determine the extent of a party’s liability. Those with a law background would fit seamlessly into this role considering their skill sets and strengths: Meticulousness, the ability to think critically and analytically, strong negotiation skills and an amiable personality.
2. Investment banking roles
These include roles in corporate finance, markets, fund management, private-client services, and IT and operations. Investment banking typically entails raising capital for corporations, typically through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Investment banking and law share many similar requirements when it comes to skills: A strong work ethic, a knack for numbers, excellent communication, negotiation and presentation skills, and an eye for detail.
3. Legal publishing roles
Legal publications typically include law reviews, court cases, legislation, law journals and legal research guides, among others. A background in law cultivates an eye for detail, strong language, writing and research skills, and good time management, all of which are plus points in the publishing sector. Lawyers who enter the legal publishing sphere usually work their way up from the role of sub-editor to editor, and subsequently commissioning manager.
4. Management consultant
Essentially, management consultants look at ways businesses can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their daily operations and management, thereby raising performance levels. The role requires analytical thinkers who are comfortable working with people across all levels, from the administrative clerk to the CEO. The good research skills nurtured at law school will prove to be useful in management consultancy, where the individual is expected to understand an industry or business swiftly.
5. Tax consultant
Tax consultants advise businesses or private clients on issues relating to tax and provide ongoing cost-effective tax solutions. Being trained in law, lawyers will be able to analyse the legal changes that come with new tax legislation. Even the Big 4 tax consultancies value the critical, analytical, problem-solving, persuasion and organisational skills often found in individuals with a law background. Lawyers may even be exempted from some of the exams tax practitioners sit to qualify as a tax consultant.