Lawyers, also known as attorneys, are professionals who practice law. The career involves preparing legal documents, filing, and litigating lawsuits, negotiating settlement deals, prosecuting criminal cases, writing legal appeals, and defending criminal cases. However, many law school graduates don’t go on to become lawyers for different reasons. The practice of law is a challenging and complex profession, best for individuals with certain personality traits and skills. Additionally, not all aspiring lawyers can attend law school but still wish to have a legal-oriented career. If you are searching for a different career but one that uses the same skills as being a lawyer, many other professions fit the bill. Here is a review of 10 jobs similar to being a lawyer.
A lobbyist lobbies for a position with the legislature, either at the state, federal, or state level. They take up a cause such as human rights or free speech, and they fight to get laws ratified in the move to further that cause. According to Lobbyit.com, Lobbyists engage in communications campaigns to influence politicians to vote on legislation that lines up with the interest they represent. Lobbyists might meet with local, state, or federal politicians or write them memorandum or letters explaining what a proposed bill means and why the politician should vote against or for it.
Lobbying utilizes many of the same skills as practicing law. These include research and writing, persuasion, understanding, and advocating the law and how it works. Most lobbyists are lawyers, but you don’t need a law degree to pursue the profession. Also, each state has its laws on how lobbyists are allowed to work. One of the pros of being a lobbyist is that if you work for an organization you care about, you will enjoy working for a cause you believe in.
A paralegal is one of the quickest-growing occupations. A paralegal is a non-lawyer that works with attorneys to help with various tasks. It is someone who is not qualified to stand in the bar. His job in a legal organization or law firm is to help lawyers deliver legal services. According to Legal Beagle, paralegals end up performing lots of tasks similar to those of a lawyer. These include; doing research and investigations, interviewing clients, writing briefs, drafting legal documents, and formulating pleadings and correspondence. Paralegals might also do administrative tasks.
However, paralegals are different from attorneys in that they can’t give legal advice, sign pleadings, or appeal in court on behalf of a client. You don’t need a law degree to become a paralegal, although most law firms prefer hiring paralegals with degrees. Lawyers might be hired as paralegals for several reasons. The pay for skilled and experienced paralegals is great, with the top earners making more than $85,000 yearly. Although the pay is lower than an attorney’s, the paralegal profession is often seen as an entry point to other legal careers.
Actuaries is one of the careers similar to being a lawyer. These are professionals that analyze risk and offer information to the insurance industry and the financial sector. They help in developing and revising insurance policies and retirement plans. They might work closely with financial analysts, lawyers, accountants, and insurance underwriters. According to Social Security, most actuaries are employed by insurance companies where they work to maintain reserve structures and sound premiums for the various annuity and insurance contracts being offered to the public. Others are independent consultants advising private companies on various statistical and legal issues.
The increased public recognition of actuaries has seen actuaries being employed in state insurance departments in the government. These professionals assess statistics and calculate the probability of events that might need insurance coverage, such as accidents or illness. They create and test the insurance investment plans and policies depending on their data analysis, so the policies and plans do not just protect the plan participants and policyholders but also the insurance plans and companies. Having a legal background as an actuary is an added benefit.
7. Accountants And Auditors
Auditors and accountants are professionals in the financial industry preparing and analyzing financial records. Accountants can become Certified Public Accountants by taking the CPA exam, which is just as demanding as a legal bar exam. Like lawyers, accountants perform various work duties that need attention to detail and understanding of many fields that overlap with the legal field, such as real estate law, tax law, business law, and other finance-related areas. It is essential to have a solid understanding of legal concepts and mathematics in this role. Moving to an accounting firm can expand your skill set because most firms will need you to get the Chartered Accountants qualification.
Auditors are often accountants and perform similar functions, only that their work is primarily investigative. The job involves document review and assessments of financial problems. Both auditors and accountants can examine financial statements, assess the financial health of a business, and prepare tax returns and financial statements. You can work in several settings as an accountant or auditor, including non-profit organizations and private practice firms. These options normally provide more flexible working hours than working as a lawyer.
6. Insurance Adjusters
Insurance adjusters are professionals that investigate insurance claims by reviewing alleged property damage and any medical records or police reports. They might interview witnesses and consult with other professionals, including attorneys, accountants, doctors, engineers, and law enforcers. When the adjuster finishes the inquiry, he gives his finding to an inspector who accepts or rejects the claim. Once the claim is approved, the adjuster will negotiate with the claimant to settle the claim amount.
Adjusters are available for hire by people and businesses who want an adjuster to work on their side and maximize recovery. Public adjusters don’t work for insurance companies but instead work for the claimant to independently investigate the claim. Public adjusters use skills similar to lawyers by conducting an investigation and persuading the insurance company to pay their clients more money on the claim. While public adjusters can’t change the limits of the client’s policy, they can negotiate a higher payout based on external factors. Most of the skills developed during a law degree integrate well into the role of an insurance adjuster, such as great negotiating skills, attention to detail, and analytical outlook.
5. Legislators And Elected Representatives
Legislators are the representatives in state and federal congressional bodies who vote on and write laws. Their positions are elected according to state and federal laws. Legislators include state and federal representatives and senators. Being a senator or a member of the house of representatives is prestigious and can be your next step to becoming the president of the United States. Many law graduates pursue a career in politics as elected officials or support team members. The duties as a member of the support team often involve speech writing, policy development, and PR.
According to statistics in 2019, attorneys made up 49 percent of the U.S senate while lawyers made up 33% of the house. According to GillespieShields, more than half the U.S presidents have been lawyers. The skills of lawyers and how they are trained, such as problem-solving, public speaking, and analyzing legislation, make them ideal candidates for these positions. Skills acquired in law school, such as advocacy, argumentation, and understanding of the political system, are often useful in the parliament.
It is not uncommon for legal disputes to become settled out of court. Also known as conciliators or arbitrators, the mediator assists two parties in resolving disagreements while avoiding the court system. Both parties expect that hiring a mediator will help them reach a timely and cost-effective solution to their problem. While some states need certification, there is no requirement for national licensing. You don’t have to be a lawyer to become a mediator.
Today, more corporations and individuals are turning to mediators to settle legal disputes outside the courtroom. Similarly, mediators are growing in popularity and number as litigation costs shoot and this field of alternative dispute resolution expands. People seek to settle disputes out of court to avoid procedural exhaustion and expense. Mediation is needed in many states as the first step at resolving particularly civil cases before they can proceed to trial. According to Insider, most law graduates, especially those who understand conflict resolution and negotiations, make excellent mediators as they can easily navigate the complexities of legal negotiations. However, you don’t need a law degree to become a mediator.
3. Real Estate Agent
The real estate industry is heavily regulated by laws, making it a job similar to a lawyer. Whether it is social skills, consultations, or conscripting and scrutinizing a contract, the skills of an attorney are enormously helpful as a real estate agent. All you require is a certificate, and you are set to start your career as a real estate agent. The necessities of gaining a license vary in different states but it is easier to obtain as a lawyer.
The median pay for real estate agents is low compared to most law careers, but it highly depends on performance. The top 10% of real estate agents earn more than $175,000 annually, so there is a higher potential for higher earnings in this career. If you have previously practiced law, the experience will flow seamlessly into your career as a real estate agent. Therefore, a real estate agent is a fine choice if you are searching for a high-paced career in law without being a lawyer.
2. Compliance Specialist
Next on the list of jobs that are similar to being a lawyer is a compliance specialist, often known as a compliance officer. Compliance specialists work for consulting firms and corporations, monitoring and coordinating the numerous regulatory and governmental documents needed by federal law changes. According to Live about dot com (https://www.liveabout.com/hot-legal-careers-non-lawyers-2164308), compliance officers are in charge of the financial behavior of a company by ensuring it operates according to all the applicable legislation.
The positions of compliance specialists are available at different financial institutions, and possessing a legal background or skills is an added benefit. Compliance officers are also responsible for developing compliance procedures, doing corporate policy audits, and advising company management on potential risks. They work with other professionals, such as human resource officers, to ensure all departments comply with the relevant laws and regulations. These professionals earn an average salary of $65,945 per year.
1. Human Resources Manager
A lawyer’s job often revolves around rules, regulations, and contracts. Another job similar to a lawyer is that of human resource personnel, as they ensure public and company standards compliance. Few offices are as tense with legal complexities as the human resources department. According to Altclik, the duties of a human resource manager involve developing, advising, and implementing policies that relate to the effective use of workers in an organization.
Human Resource Managers need the ability to apply employment laws and mitigate the risks relating to the health and safety of employees. Therefore, understanding these laws is essential for a human resources manager, making it a good choice for people with a legal education who don’t want to work in characteristic legal careers. As a human resource manager, you offer law firms and legal organizations the perfect talent they seek to recruit. This is a good career for anyone looking to earn a good income. The top 10% of human resource managers can expect to earn more than $208,000. With the high demand for skilled human resources professionals, this can be a good alternative career with a law degree.
That’s it. These are the ten jobs that are similar to being a lawyer. These are careers where lawyers can directly or indirectly use their acquired legal skill set and legal experience. Some careers are great for lawyers searching for an alternative law career that doesn’t need a costly, time-consuming education. The legal market is booming. Technology advancements, increased regulations, and more caseloads have increased the demand for a growing range of law professionals in different roles. Ultimately, do what excites you, choose your passion, pursue it, and success will follow.