Beyond the Bar: Discovering Exciting New Law Career Options

by Nikki in Articles

DatePosted on August 02, 2023 at 02:00 PM
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Introduction to New Law Careers

If you're a recent law graduate, it's natural to assume that your career options are limited to traditional law firms. However, the legal field has evolved significantly, and there are now numerous exciting and lucrative opportunities beyond a traditional law firm. In this article, our summer intern, Nicole Celia, explored a range of alternative law careers that offer unique paths to success.

Exploring Opportunities Beyond Traditional Law Firms

As an undergraduate student intern at Star Anise, I learned that while law firms remain a popular choice for many law graduates who pursue a career in law, there are alternative career paths that can provide a fresh perspective and a different work environment. 

In-House Legal and other roles: A Different Path in the Legal Field

In-house legal roles offer a unique opportunity to work closely with business leaders and gain a comprehensive understanding of the industry you serve. As an in-house lawyer, you become an integral part of the decision-making process, providing strategic legal advice to support the company's objectives. This career path often offers more consistent hours and thus a better work life balance as well as the chance to specialise in a particular area of law.

In addition to in-house legal roles, there are also thriving opportunities on the law firm business support side. These roles involve providing crucial administrative and operational support to law firms. From managing finances to developing marketing strategies, these positions allow you to contribute to the success of a law firm without practicing law directly. This career path is ideal for individuals with strong organizational and business skills.

If a business-focused role is not your strong interest, you might also consider compliance roles in-house. The role is suitable for individuals who enjoy problem-solving, attention to detail, and working in a fast-paced environment. In short, professionals in this capacity will ensure that their organization complies with certain state and/or international rules and regulations, as well as its own mission statement.

Consultant for Alternative Legal Service Providers: A Flexible and Rewarding Career Option

Another exciting new law career option is working as a consultant for alternative legal service providers. These providers offer specialised business advisory services from qualified lawyers, in areas such as document review or e-discovery, and from organisations ranging from law firms, financial institutions and more general regional and international corporations. As a consultant, you have the freedom to choose projects that align with your interests and expertise. This career path provides flexibility and the opportunity to work with diverse clients and business issues, and one of the Star Anise group companies, Yuzu (https://yuzu.com.hk/), provides such services!

Embracing the Nomad Law Lifestyle: Working Remotely and Independently

The rise of technology has revolutionised the legal profession, allowing lawyers to work remotely and independently. Embracing the nomadic lifestyle means you can work from anywhere in the world while still providing legal consulting services. This career path is particularly attractive for those who desire flexibility and autonomy. However, it requires self-discipline and strong time management skills to thrive in this environment.

Unconventional Law Careers: Academia and Policy Advisors in Government

For those who have a passion for teaching and research, a career in academia could be an excellent fit. Becoming a law professor allows you to delve deep into legal theory and shape the minds of future lawyers. Additionally, working as a policy advisor in government provides the opportunity to influence legal frameworks and contribute to the development of public policy.

Our student intern, Nicole Celia, discovers an exciting world of careers for law graduates!

Non-Legal Roles That Leverage Legal Skills: Contract Manager, Investment Banker, and Journalist

Law graduates possess valuable skills that extend beyond the legal profession. Many non-legal roles require the ability to analyze complex information, negotiate contracts, and communicate effectively – all skills honed during legal studies. Consider exploring careers as a contract manager, investment banker, or journalist, where your legal expertise can be leveraged to excel in these fields.

In-House for Startups: Combining Legal Expertise with Entrepreneurial Spirit

Startups are known for their innovative and fast-paced environments, making them an appealing option for law graduates seeking a dynamic career. Joining a startup as an in-house lawyer allows you to combine your legal expertise with an entrepreneurial spirit. You can provide invaluable legal guidance to help the company navigate regulatory challenges, intellectual property concerns, and contractual issues.

Consultant for ESG and CSR: A Meaningful Work

No matter whether you join a company as an in-house lawyer, join Big Law, a public body (government, NGO), or starting out in a new career as a law graduate, choosing a career in ESG and CSR will bring an impactful work for the people and the environment. This career needs many skills that were taught in law school, especially those learning Environmental Law for their degree or as a module in their course. 

One quote that stood out for me was from Sara Colangelo, Director of the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at the Georgetown University Law Center when she said, "Significant opportunities are emerging in Big Law settings, with firms either tapping environmental and regulatory or compliance attorneys to provide ESG guidance to clients or creating independent ESG practice groups." These are very exciting areas to specialise in, and Asia is only scratching the surface on how far these areas can develop in the region.

Finding a Career That Suits Your Personality and Goals

With so many new law careers available, it's crucial to find a path that aligns with your personality and goals. Reflect on your strengths, interests, and values to identify the career that will bring you the most satisfaction and fulfillment. Consider seeking guidance from career coaches or mentors who can provide valuable insights and support throughout your career exploration journey.

Star Anise Leadership and Training (SALT): Unlocking Opportunities in New Law Careers

If you're looking for specialised guidance in navigating the world of new law careers, organizations like Star Anise Leadership and Training or SALT (https://salt.com.hk/) can be invaluable resources. We offer training programs, mentorship, and networking opportunities specifically tailored to individuals seeking alternative legal career paths. By leveraging our expertise and industry connections, you can unlock new opportunities and accelerate your career growth.

Conclusion: Embracing the Evolving Landscape of Law Careers

The legal profession is no longer limited to traditional law firms, and the evolving landscape offers a plethora of exciting and lucrative new law careers for graduates. Whether you choose to work in-house, become a consultant, or explore non-legal roles, it's clear that there are so many possibilities to utilise your legal skills and knowledge. Embrace the changing nature of the legal field and seize the opportunities that await you beyond the traditional mould!

 

Nicole is an international undergraduate business student at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, studying a Bachelor degree in Business Administration. She is due to graduate in 2025.

 

About the Author

Nikki

Nikki is Star Anise's resident writer and curator of content on all things careers, coaching and recruitment related at the Star Anise Knowledge Hub. 

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