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The Non-Legal Alternatives

March 21, 2008

At this past Monday’s Bar Association Quarterly Luncheon at the Bellvue, Mayor Nutter continued to be the city’s most prominent non-lawyer in the legal world. In his address, he noted how he has spoken frequently to various legal groups and associations despite having a business instead of a legal educational background. Truthfully, of course, he is no stranger to the upper echelon of our Bar, maintaining long friendships and professional relationships with such luminaries as Michael Pratt and Jane Dalton (the current and most recent past Chancellor). Still, the mayor bemoaned that given the significant salaries in the upwards of $150,000 for some first year associates, perhaps he should have been a lawyer.

It begs a pretty good question: if you didn’t go to law school, what would you be doing or want to be doing instead. In my view, as someone who went straight from college to law school and has only worked at one real job in my life, the answer isn’t simple. All of us have good and bad days at work, and many envision greener pastures and better environments elsewhere. Some folks transfer firms or go in-house and find a whole new set of negatives. We soon realize that there are very few, if any, perfect jobs out there. The grass is not always greener elsewhere.

Other than my current legal job, I personally don’t have much work experience to compare or fall back to, although others who worked before law school do. For these folks, perhaps the answer to the question would be what they did in their past lives before law school. So for me, I would say that the non-lawyer dream job for me would be as a professional golfer. Picture your “work” as doing something recreational outdoors, traveling throughout the country and hanging out in country clubs. Of course, after waking up and realizing that I don’t have that ability, I think I would be doing journalism or perhaps consulting instead.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephanie permalink
    March 21, 2008 2:38 pm

    Good question! I started my first job when I was 17 – working in a law firm – and went to law school straight out of college. I never wanted to do anything else, but I guess my dream job would involve playing guitar or taking pictures.

  2. Abbie permalink
    March 23, 2008 10:59 pm

    I also went straight to law school after college. I think that I would have gone in to graphic design.

  3. BNic permalink
    November 24, 2009 5:50 am

    Hey there, I am considering a huge career change FROM photography and journalism TO law school. And to those of you who have been lawyers and feel like photography/design or journalism would be the perfect job, consider this: According to the Bureau of Labor Statisitcs, the middle 50% of photographers make 18K-38K. Over half are self employed.

    Trust me, the grass isn’t necessarily greener on this side.

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