Go Down a Different Path – Are You Ready for An Alternative Career?

By January 30, 2019Articles

By Chere B. Estrin

Working for a smaller company

If you’re unwilling to completely leave the field of IT, you could step down from that fortune 500 position and join a much smaller company. Having a much smaller network to deal with, few computers, and users who don’t have that same attitude toward you will remove a world of suffering from your shoulders. You could even step into the not-for-profit world and really feel wanted and loved. Although the NFP field has its own set of headaches, they aren’t nearly as intense as they can be in the upper echelons of capitalism

eDiscovery careers

e know lawyers think about changing careers, not just changing jobs. If you are contemplating moving beyond a traditional role for a lawyer, join our stand-out speakers with experience in leaving law behind and charting new directions.

issatisfaction and disillusionment are common in the legal industry. High billable hour quotas, ceaseless deadlines, and large workloads are a few reasons legal professionals leave the profession.

If you’ve determined that a career in the law is not for you, you can apply the skills you’ve developed as a lawyer, paralegal or legal professional to countless opportunities outside the legal profession.

Below are a few alternative legal careers you might explore in your search for a new career path.

Legal Consulting

If you have experience in the legal industry, you can leverage your knowledge into lucrative opportunities consulting for law firms and businesses on law-related issues. Consultants share their expertise on everything from legal marketing, strategic management and communications to legal software and trial strategy.

Large-scale litigation and high-stakes jury trials have fueled the need for a growing range of trial consultants. If you have litigation experience, you can put your expertise to use as a jury consultant, trial presentation specialist, trial technology consultant, trial strategy consultant or legal investigator.

In medical malpractice, personal injury, products liability and other matters involving medical issues, nurses with legal knowledge work as legal nurse consultants.

Legal nurse consultants review medical records and offer advice to attorneys on the medical issues of the case.

Legal Technology

The dawn of the digital age has ushered in new opportunities for the tech-savvy legal professional. Lawyers, paralegals, IT professionals and legal personnel with a knack for technology can find lucrative positions in the growing fields of litigation support, e-discovery, and computer forensics.

Your knowledge of legal software and technology applications combined with your insight into the legal process and the needs of clients may make you a good fit for litigation support with a law firm, corporation or legal vendor.

Legal Publishing

As a legal professional, your research, writing and editing skills are top-notch. Put those skills to use in the publishing industry as a legal publisher, editor, writer or web manager. The expanding legal industry has sparked the birth of a diverse range of legal publications that cater to lawyers, paralegals, secretaries, court reporters, litigation support personnel and other legal professionals. Every legal profession has its own series of niche publications that seek skilled writers with experience in the industry.

The Internet has also created new opportunities for the legal professional-turned-writer. You can share your knowledge of the law and showcase your writing skills by writing web content, contributing to on-line legal newsletters or writing copy for law firm websites.

Education and Administration

Another worthy career alternative for the legal professional is a career in legal education or academic administration. While the path to the ivory towers of the nation’s elite law schools is steep, teaching opportunities exist in paralegal schools and continuing legal education organizations.

Legal education institutions also hire individuals with legal experience to work in career services, law libraries, alumni relations and admissions.

Dispute Resolution

Crowded court dockets and rising legal fees have prompted a movement to settle disputes outside the courtroom. In the dispute resolution process, neutral arbitrators collaborate with the disputing parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Legal professionals with strong communication, negotiation and conflict resolution skills can find jobs in the growing field of dispute resolution as mediators, conflict analysts, arbitrators or conciliators.

Banking and Finance

The banking and finance industry involves complex legal, regulatory and compliance issues. Legal professionals, particularly those with backgrounds in finance, banking, securities, and tax, can leverage their knowledge into lucrative positions in the finance industry as escrow agents, compliance specialists, bank probate administrators, funds administrators, insurance brokers, trust examiners, risk managers and other related positions.

Lawyers can also give legal and transactional advice to financial institutions, corporations, and the government.

Human Resources Management

Law firms and corporations need talented professionals to manage their legal staff and recruit legal talent. Individuals with management experience, strong interpersonal skills and knowledge of the legal industry can find employment as law firm administrators, hiring coordinators, professional development directors, training managers and legal recruiters.

Compliance Specialist

With the recent passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which prompted the enactment of a host of new regulations, regulatory compliance is one of the hottest legal career options today. Compliance specialists work for corporations and consulting firms, coordinating and monitoring the myriad of governmental, regulatory and compliance documents required by new changes in federal law.

Social Media

As an HR director, you will manage the human resources team for a company or organization. This means knowing the policies and organizational strategic goals for the company, and being able to write up further goals and implement them. In this, your canniness for law and the structure of human organization will enable you to get your hands on how to keep a business well-staffed with a work force fit for the goals of the company. You will direct employee orientation and training programs, as well as explain benefits plans, policies, and guidelines. You must have a strong sense of the principles and values of your company, and know how to hire people who best align with those.

robertsmith5736_dt9@indeedemail.comThere is some wisdom in the idea that our lives would be better, not if they were radically different, but if we could do what we are doing with happiness. Motivational speakers are those who inspire others with enthusiasm to approach their life and challenges with an eager and excited mindset. This requires a special kind of person, somebody who knows what it means to struggle, but has overcome that in himself or herself. The discipline and dedication for learning law translate to discipline and dedication in general, the values motivational speakers inspire in their audience. This job can give you a high, that you are helping others love their lives. If working for a law firm helping the rich get richer doesn’t sound inspiring, consider focusing your energy on inspiring audiences.

Though you should not expect the job to live up to the romanticized portrayal of it in cinema, working of the FBI can be rewarding for those seeking excitement on the job as well as high employment security. As with most agencies, there are many roles you could play out for the FBI, but whichever role it is, you are expected to be excellent at what you do. You will be working as national level law enforcement, and ensuring the nation is secure from all sorts of threats. Some of these threats will be full-blown such as the 9-11 attack and the Un-abomber, while others will be comparatively smaller but also important.
Legal recruiters are the human resource professionals of the legal world. If you enjoy helping others land a job and want to help lawyers succeed in a difficult market, giving hope where hope has been wanting, you should consider being a recruiter. You will need to learn how to recruit possible clients, how to interact with firms, and how to work well with employees. You could work with individual practices or with recruitment companies.

If you are hot on political issues, and fired up to change the way our country is run, consider being a lobbyist. You must be able to develop strong ties with policy makers and politicians, and understand well what your clients seek in legislation, being able to sum up the issues in simple and compelling ways. Just as in law, you must be able to summarize complex ideas in ways readily accessible and explainable both to clients and to legislators. Through a job like this you can change the country and bring justice where it was lacking, and yet avoid the spotlight of being a politician. This is a great alternative legal career for those who know how to build connections.

Contracts Administrator: If you especially love the contract writing aspect of the legal world, consider narrowing your focus and becoming a contract administrator. You will be responsible for preparing, analyzing, and revising contracts regarding any assortment of topics from the buying and selling of goods and services. Managing the acquisition and storage of equipment is also important. If you are organized, thorough, and exact, this non law job for lawyers will draw on your legal strengths.

eDiscovery Consultant: Get into the latest technology as an electronic discovery consultant. This refers to discovery in civil litigation in which electronic information is made available for legal scrutiny. Your background in law will bring you to the cusp of internet law, so you can appraise what information is relevant and appropriate for attorneys to view and present before the courts.

Marketing Director: Your understanding of protocol will lend you sway and clout as a marketing director. In this role you will plan and lead the marketing team. You are there to make your business’s products and services well-known and available to whomever could use them. You must be able to create the conduits of communication between the teams beneath you who control marketing budget, plan activities, and strategize on how to create visibility.

Law Firm Administrator: If you are eager to work with the law, you can offer administrative support in a law office as an administrator. You will manage schedules and organize meetings, and provide a friendly face to clients. Since you will be expected to prepare legal correspondence, to prepare reports, and understand generally how the law works, your background will help you here.

Westlaw or Lexis Representative: If the organization of information fascinates you, consider being a Westlaw or Lexis representative, somebody who works with these research services, allowing judges and attorneys to find specific information amidst a sea of data. You must be able to work with lawyers and other legal figures, and help them discover information that is presented in a vague way. It requires a lot of looking, in other words, but if you have such a sleuth’s nose, consider this non law job for lawyers.

Private Investigator: While Hollywood has glamorized the detective, as has an entire genre of popular novels, nevertheless, there really is excitement in the job of a PR. Research is nevertheless necessary. You will be researching legal records, background checks, family histories, and so forth. You will combine such research with interviews with witnesses of crimes or family members of interesting persons. You must be able to get the useful information, whether the individuals are cooperative or not. And as for the fun part, surveillance, you will also have to be able to monitor individuals without them knowing.

Civil Rights Investigator: If some of the trials and triumphs of social work appeal to you, consider being a civil rights investigator. You must be able to relate well with diverse populations, and be able to research and investigate how the law figures into how individuals are treated. Various civil rights laws have been legislated since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and you must have a strong knowledge of these and an interest in seeing them applied. Helping those who feel discriminated against or harassed makes this job important.

Training & Development

Risk Management

Legal Sales

Legal sales is a particularly appealing field if you want to take on a social, flexible, and heavily client-facing role. In a sales position , you’ll engage with experienced attorneys and financial professionals and you’ll still get to use those legal research skills you picked up in law school . Products like Lexis, Bloomberg Law, and Westlaw often require salespeople who know the legal field inside and out and have excellent communication and persuasion skills.

In fact, I recently made the jump to Bloomberg Law to become a relationship manager. In my role, I’m in constant communication with financial companies’ in-house legal departments to ensure they’re optimizing their use of the Bloomberg Law product. I, like many of my co-workers who were prosecutors or corporate attorneys, have found long-awaited satisfaction in using my legal knowledge to teach and assist my (former) attorney peers.

Pricing Strategist

Legal project manager – Law firms and corporate legal departments often choose to hire outside legal experts to manage complex legal cases, for example, e-discovery litigation projects. The arrangement can provide management and cost efficiencies to the hiring organization, while offering the project manager more flexibility and diverse assignments in his or her career. The growing popularity of the annual ediscovery conference held by the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists® (ACEDS) is a testament to new career opportunities in litigation support.

Legal mediator or ADR counselor – Our company conducted a survey a few years ago in which we asked legal professionals what career alternative would hold the most appeal if they were to resign from their current job. More than half (54 percent) selected “mediation or alternative dispute resolution counselor.” As legal organizations seek to resolve legal matters outside the courtroom, they often look to legal mediators for support. The role requires a legal professional who possesses strong analytical, reasoning and communications skills, as well as someone well-armed with effective consensus-building strategies.

Law technology expert – Technology continues to change how legal organizations operate and deliver services, a factor that has opened an employment niche for tech-savvy legal professionals. For example, as electronically stored information (ESI) continues to grow exponentially, demand for legal specialists is increasing to manage complex e-discovery engagements. I recently participated in a general session at ACEDS’s annual conference on “Balancing People, Process, Partnerships and Technology to Achieve Optimal Cost-Savings.” We discussed a variety of ways legal departments and their law firms can streamline and modernize the e-discovery process. While utilizing technological tools can create efficiencies in the review process, staffing solutions and project management play an important role in alleviating bandwidth shortage and optimizing cost-savings.

Law professor – Legal education can serve as an interesting and dynamic career choice for those desiring to share their legal wisdom and experience with others, either as a professor or guest lecturer.

This is not the career I signed up for.

  1. Management skills could enable you to become a paralegal coordinator, one who trains and supervises other paralegals within an organization. The best route to this position is to demonstrate your capabilities, and you can do this only within the organization itself.
  2. Office management is another area in which you can use your management supervisory skills, if you have them. This could be within a legal firm, or once you have gained experience, you may find that many offices need good management, outside as well as inside the legal profession.
  3. Administration within a legal firm is also based on strong skills in working with personnel of many departments. An administrative director of a law firm is usually responsible for every nonlegal aspect of the firm’s operation, including accounting, personnel, and purchasing. Remember that such a position is not a paralegal position, although your paralegal background will be helpful. It is a step onto a different career track, however.

This person usually reports to a senior officer. It is a highly responsible and demanding position. The combination of paralegal skills and other administrative skills could lead to a rewarding and challenging position.

Within large and small, nonprofit and corporate environments, paralegals have many opportunities open to them. Even if you decide that you do not wish to pursue any of these options at this stage of your career, knowing about them will help you to focus on where you might want to be five or ten years in the future. By thinking of your long-term goals, you can develop skills along the way that will enable you to achieve your goals.

Here are some opportunities you might want to consider:

Computer center specialist or manager: Computer literacy training, in addition to specialized or generalist paralegal training, could make you a suitable candidate for a position as a computer center manager. While duties may vary, they would include working with information systems, electronic data banks, and word processing. In today’s job market, you will need computer skills to work as a paralegal. This could be a very satisfying career alternative for anyone interested in working in the computer field.

Law librarian: Law firms usually hire law librarians to handle their periodical collections, as well as law books and manuals. Although many of these law positions are filled by those with library training, frequently a paralegal with a good academic background can be trained to fill this position.

Social service agent: This area is extremely appropriate for anyone interested in the social welfare system, the criminal justice system, or immigration services, just to name a few. Many positions offered are not listed as paralegal positions, but a review of the job description and responsibilities reveals that employees are essentially doing paralegal work, in addition to other duties. For example, a position within a social service organization that assists immigrants may be listed as “Immigrant Specialist.” That person may serve as an advocate for immigrants in court and may have great deal of interaction with clients but, for the most part, the skills required for this position are basically those required to be a paralegal. Many social service agencies have such positions. It is important, therefore, to read the job description and qualifications necessary, if you are interested in moving into this field.

Educator: Teacher, program administrator, consultant, education coordinator for continuing legal education are examples of areas open to paralegals in the field of education. Check with local universities, colleges, and community colleges for requirements. Many schools are interested in hiring part-time faculty to teach an occasional course. This could be an opportunity for you to see if you would like to work in the academic world.

Banking specialist: In addition to work as a paralegal in a bank, other opportunities exist, particularly with the new and changing regulations for foreign as well as domestic banking. If you are interested in working in this environment, your best path would be to begin working as a paralegal to discover options that exist and develop a network to help you find out about openings as they occur.

Other careers involving money and banking include importing and exporting and stock brokerage. These fields may require additional credentials or particular qualifications.

Government specialist: Many paralegals are interested in government regulatory issues; politics or working in a political environment can always be explored; lobbying is a career for which paralegals could be well suited. In addition, civil service opportunities are available. Check your local government offices along, with times and dates of civil service examinations.

Journalist: Research and writing in the legal field is a career open to those who have demonstrated their writing skills and expertise in a field or specialty. While many may wish to pursue this goal on a freelance basis, there are companies which hire paralegals and then use their writing talents predominantly.

Salesperson: Those interested in combining interpersonal skills and paralegal training with a personal need to receive the rewards of their individual efforts, may consider sales, specifically for all materials and equipment used by attorneys.

Corporate specialist: Review the paralegal specialties listed in the first chapter of this book to give you some idea of particular specialties. Developing experience or expertise in those areas will prepare you for many types of work within a corporation. Some of these areas include working in the patent or trademark division or employee benefits office.

Real estate specialist: You may develop a paralegal specialty in this area and work with an attorney in various aspects when you realize that you enjoy the real estate field and all of its possibilities. As a result, you may think of real estate sales or management, including title and mortgage company positions. Your paralegal training will be an additional asset.

Medical specialist: With changing policies regarding health care in this country, many career options exist in this field for paralegals. Within hospital settings or insurance agencies (even nonmedical insurance firms), your paralegal training will prepare you to take on additional responsibilities if you have the other personal and professional qualifications.

While each of these fields might require additional training (not necessarily a degree, but some specialized training that could be gained on the job), they should be considered, particularly if they seem to tie in with your interests, talents, and goals.
Are you considering changing your career? Are you bored, fed-up, lost, or otherwise unhappy in your current career? Are you facing a crossroads at which you need to decide between staying in your current field and moving to a new one? Do you have skills that you are not using in your current career? Have you been promoted to a point where you are no longer doing what you love?

Changing careers is one of the biggest decision job-seekers face, and with many possible outcomes and consequences. Before you make that jump to a new career field, consider these common career change mistakes so that you can avoid them as you make the transition from one career to your next.

Changing Careers?We’ll help you personalize your resume for your new career.

personalized my resume

Making a career change without a plan.

Probably the biggest mistake you can make is attempting to change careers without a plan. A successful career change can often take months to accomplish when you have a strategy, so without one, you could end up adrift for an even longer period. Having a detailed action plan (including items such as strategies, finances, research, and education/training) is essential to your success. Without a plan, you might take the first job offer that comes along, whether it is a good fit for you or not. Read: The 10-Step Plan to Career Change.

Changing careers because you hate your job.

Don’t make the mistake of confusing hating your current job with hating your current career. Take the time to analyze whether it’s just the job/employer/boss that you hate, or whether it’s the career/skills/work that you dislike. The same goes with if you are feeling bored or lost with your job; review whether it’s the job/employer or the career. Whatever you determine, it’s best not to leave your job — if possible — until you have a plan for finding a new job/career.

Making a career change solely based on money/benefits.

Certain career fields are very alluring because of the salary and other benefits they offer, but be very careful of switching careers because of all the dollar signs. Keep repeating to yourself, “money won’t buy me happiness.” Remember that you may make more money, but if you hate your new career, you’ll probably be spending that money on stress- and health-related expenses. A career that’s hot today could be gone tomorrow, so dig deeper.

Changing careers because of outside pressure.

Don’t let your parents, significant others, or anyone else influence your career choice. They don’t have to live that career every day; you do. If you love what you do and earn a reasonable living, why is it anyone’s business but yours? If you switch careers because of outside pressure to have a “better career,” and then hate your new career, you’ll end up resenting the person(s) who pressured you to make the switch.

Making a career change without refreshing your network and finding a new mentor.

Don’t ever attempt a career change alone. As soon as you have identified the career field you want to switch into, begin developing new network contacts. Conduct informational interviews. Join industry associations. People in your network can provide inside information about job-openings and can even champion you to hiring managers. Networking is essential for all job-seekers, but even more so for career-changers. And use a current or new mentor as a sounding board to help guide you in the transition. Learn more about networking and the value of a mentor.

Changing careers without examining all the possibilities.

Don’t jump career fields without first conducting thorough research into all the possibilities, including career fields you may never have considered. By conducting research into careers you have never considered or been exposed to, you may find the career of your dreams. Talk to people in your network, read career and job profiles, meet with a career management professional. The more information you have about various career choices, the more successful you’ll be in making a career change. Use these research resources.

Making a career change without assessment of likes/dislikes and without self-reflection.

Self-assessment (of your skills, values, and interests) is a critical component to career-change success. Make a list of the skills you love doing (in your job, in your hobbies, in all aspects of your life) and the skills you never want to do again. Next, consider taking one or more assessment tests, especially those with a career component. Preparing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) Analysis is also a useful activity. All these activities are designed so that you better understand yourself — your product — so that you can find the best career for you and then sell yourself to employers in that new career. Learn more about assessing your likes and dislikes, as well as preparing a personal SWOT Analysis.

Changing careers based on the success of others.

It’s human nature to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. Just because your best friend or neighbor is successful in a certain career does not mean that you will be — or that you will be happy doing it — so certainly consider the career field, but make sure you do the research before jumping into it. Finally, just to add yet another cliche, too many job-seekers switch careers on the assumption that the grass is always greener — and often times find out that is not the case.

Making a career change without necessary experience/education.

As a career-changer, you must find a way to bridge the (experience, skills, and education) gap between your old career and your new one. While transferable skills (skills that are applicable in multiple career fields, such as communications skills) are an important part of career change, it is often necessary to gain additional training and experience before you can find a good job in a new career field. Research whether you need additional training, education, or certifications. And try to find time to volunteer, temp, intern, or consult in your new career field — what some experts refer to as developing a parallel career — before quitting your current job and searching for a full-time position in your new career field.

Changing careers without updating job-search skills/techniques.

If it’s been a while since you were last on the job market, take the time to polish your job-search skills, techniques, and tools. Review your resume-writing techniques, master networking, and polish your interviewing skills. What’s the sense of doing all this research and preparation in attempting to change careers if you are not current with your job-search skills? Use the resources in our Career Toolkit to examine and polish all aspects of your job-hunting techniques and tools.

Final Thoughts on Career Change

You have so many resources at your fingertips, both here at Quintessential Careers and other career sites, that there is no excuse to making any of these career change mistakes. But if you do make one of them, step back and see if there is a way to fix it and move on… a career should not control you; you should control your career.

It’s that time of the year again. You’ve gotten your raise, you’ve politely waited a month or so after receiving your bonus. You have looked grateful and appreciative to the firm (all the while thinking, you’re giving me this when I worked that?) and now, frankly, you’ve been circling Indeed and quietly checking out the job listings. But this time around, you’ve find yourself thinking, “You know, am I going to out there and find another job doing the same thing, or am I going to get something different?”

Paralegal is a terrific career. But let’s face it. For some, it does have its limits. You aren’t ever going to make partner. (For those of you who are just hearing this for the first time, I apologize.) And, there are some salary caps. On the other hand, if you zig and zag, you can create an unlimited reach for the sky opportunities. It may just look like you have to leave the title “Paralegal” behind. Some call it “Alternative Careers”. I call it leveraging your career. Where is it written in the Big Book of Careers, that you always need to have the title, Paralegal? Have you ever considered that paralegal may be a journey to unlimited opportunities and not an end?

This is not the career I signed up for.

Are you considering changing your career? Are you bored, fed-up, lost, or otherwise unhappy in your current career? Are you facing a crossroads at which you need to decide between staying in your current field and moving to a new one? Do you have skills that you are not using in your current career? Have you been promoted to a point where you are no longer doing what you love?

If changing careers has become an issue, you must make a distinction about the real reason behind your thinking: Are you changing your path because a) the career is not for you or b) the job you are in is not right? It is so important that you distinguish between the two because you can be making a very serious mistake if you abandon a perfectly good career simply because you are in the wrong job, not the wrong career. Only you can answer the question. Whatever you determine, it’s best not to leave your job – if possible – unless you have a plan. You need to ask yourself: When I go to work:

  • Do I not like my manager? (The job is not for you.) Or,
  • Do I not like the work itself? (The career may not be for you).
  • Is the environment unfriendly, hostile, stressful, boring? (The job is not for you). Or,
  • Am I truly uninterested in what I am doing, in over my head, my eyes glaze over, I have little interest in what goes on around me? (The career is not for you.)

If you are just starting out, chances are, you are not seeking an alternative career. However, at the mid-or senior level, many paralegal jobs may have become routine and repetitious. It just may be that a little “spice” is what the Career Doc ordered. An alternative career could act as an extension of a paralegal career – not the end.

Here is where you want to leverage your paralegal background. Take what you have accomplished and propel transferable skills into a lateral move or climb up the career ladder. You may have to take a salary cut but chances are, if you are skillful, that won’t happen. Here are just a few positions paralegals have successfully succeeded.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is attempting to change careers or specialties without a plan. A successful career change can often take months to accomplish when you have a strategy, so without one, you could end up adrift for an even longer period. Having a detailed action plan including such as strategy, finances, research, and education and training is essential to your success.

Another trip down failure lane is denial that you need further training. Employers do not have imaginations. If they cannot make the connection as to why you should say, move from a litigation paralegal into HR, they simply are not going to bite. However, if they see that you have completed an HR certification course from the Association of Legal Administrators, they may be more inclined to consider you.

Here are just a few alternative careers you can consider:

  1. Various careers in eDiscovery

There just isn’t anything hotter for paralegals. These positions include

  • eDiscovery Manager
  • Case Managers
  • Project Managers

You must have a solid background in eDiscovery, know Relativity and other software packages.

  1. Careers in Litigation Support
  • Litigation Support Managers
  • Litigation Support Analysts
  • Project Managers
  • Case Managers

You must have expert technology skills.

  1. Contracts Administrator: Love contract writing? Narrow your focus. Responsibilities include preparing, analyzing, and revising contracts regarding any assortment of subjects from the buying and selling of goods and services. Managing the acquisition and storage of equipment is also important.
  2. Law Firm Administrator: Have you managed other paralegals, case clerks or supervised others? Do you have any accounting background? Have you worked in labor or employment law? Here is where you can leverage that background.
  3. Social service agent: This is an area is for anyone interested in the social welfare system, the criminal justice system, or immigration services, just to name a few. Many positions are not listed as paralegal positions, but a review of the job description shows assignments are essentially paralegal work. For example, a position within a social service organization that assists immigrants may be listed as “Immigrant Specialist.” That person may serve as an advocate for immigrants in court and may have great deal of interaction with clients but, for the most part, the skills required for this position are basically those required to be a paralegal. It is important, to always read the job description.
  4. Legal Sales: Vendors love paralegals. Legal sales is a particularly appealing field if you want to take on a social, flexible, and heavily client-facing role. You’ll engage with experienced attorneys, legal professionals, HR directors, litigation support professionals and other paralegals. Products like Lexis, Bloomberg Law, and Westlaw often require salespeople who know the legal field inside and out and have excellent communication and persuasion skills. You can work for eDiscovery, outsourcing, litigation support, corporate filing companies – you name the vendor! What interests you? Salaries are general very good if you are good.
  5. Banking and Finance: The banking and finance industry involves complex legal, regulatory and compliance issues. Paralegals, particularly those with backgrounds in finance, banking, securities, and tax, can leverage their knowledge into lucrative positions in the finance industry as escrow agents, compliance specialists, bank probate administrators, funds administrators, insurance, risk managers, brokers, trust examiners, and other related positions. Review the job descriptions. Your new job will not be listed as a paralegal but the job duties may be similar to what you are doing now.
  6. Education and Administration

Another worthy career alternative for the paralegal is a career in legal education or academic administration. While the path to the ivory towers of the nation’s elite law schools is steep, teaching opportunities paralegal schools and continuing legal education organizations exist. Legal education institutions also hire individuals with legal experience to work in career services, law libraries, alumni relations and admissions. In fact, as we speak, there are a couple of job opportunities advertised on Indeed for paralegal educators at major universities.

 

  1. Marketing Director: Your understanding of protocol will lend you sway and clout as a marketing director. In this role, you will plan and lead the marketing team. You must be able to create the conduits of communication beneath you who control marketing budget, plan activities, and strategize on how to create visibility. You need to know PR, websites, social media, event planning, and all aspects of marketing the firm’s business. Start out by assisting your marketing director in your current firm. You can then add that to your resume and move into a full-time marketing position. Salaries start at low but good marketing directors at major law firms can earn over $200,000 per year.
  2. Legal Recruiter: Legal recruiters are the human resource professionals of the legal world. If you enjoy helping others land a job and want to help lawyers and legal professionals succeed in a difficult market, giving hope where hope has been wanting, you should consider being a recruiter. You will need to learn how to recruit possible clients, how to interact with firms, and how to work well with employees. You could work with individual practices, in-house at a corporation or with recruitment companies.
  1. Legal Publishing

As a paralegal, your research and writing and are tops. Put those skills to use in the publishing industry as an editor, writer or content manager. The expanding legal field has sparked the birth of a diverse range of legal publications that cater to lawyers, paralegals, secretaries, court reporters, litigation support professionals, and other legal professionals. Every legal professional has its own series of niche publications that seek skilled writers with experience in the industry.

The Internet has also created new opportunities for the legal professional-turned-writer. You can share your knowledge of the law and showcase your writing skills by writing web content, contributing to on-line legal newsletters, or writing copy for law firm websites. Start out by writing for paralegal newsletters so you have a portfolio to show.

 

  1. Pricing Strategist and Analysts: Here is a relatively new position that has become more popular in firms in the past 5-7 years. In this position, your duties include formulating pricing strategies and managing legal spend against client expectations. In this role, you create budgets and forecasts and respond to competitive requests for proposals, develop pricing tools and templates to utilize technology. Here’s the hidden 411: Analyst positions can go anywhere from $90 – $100k. However, the top, top positions in major law firms in New York are paying $300-$400,000 per year. Oh, yes! It’s highly competitive and you have to be very qualified but you can eventually get there! Why not? (For those who doubt what I am saying, I am actually working on a position for a firm now.)
  2. Compliance Specialist : The Sarbanes-Oxley Act prompted the enactment of a host of new regulations. Regulatory compliance is one of the hottest legal career options today. Compliance specialists work for corporations and consulting firms, coordinating and monitoring the myriad of governmental, regulatory and compliance documents required by new changes in federal law. Recently, law firms have begun to bring compliance specialists in-house to work in law firms to review contracts for vendors such as IT and litigation support companies, something paralegals know a lot about!

 

  1. Training and Development: Large and mid-size firms and in-house legal departments seek good trainers for software training and also to set up in-house programs for CLE. Who better than a paralegal? If you are training others now, here is a great career path. Continue to develop those skills and leverage them for this interesting and exciting career path.

Government Positions: Have you considered positions in agencies such as the FBI or CIA? Paralegals have interesting and exciting positions. Though you should not expect the job to live up to the romanticized portrayal in the movies, working of the FBI can be rewarding for those seeking excitement on the job as well as high employment security.

As with most agencies, there are many roles you could play out for the FBI, but whichever role it is, you are expected to be excellent at what you do. You will be working as national level law enforcement, and ensuring the nation is secure from all sorts of threats. Some of these threats will be full-blown such as the 9-11 attack and the Un-abomber, while others will be comparatively smaller but also important. There are also roles in Homeland Security and other agencies. Check it out!