Similar jobs and occupations for a lawyer are based on using the same skills to support a career. For a lawyer, this means using the law, legal research and litigation skills to craft employment roles. Unlike many other occupations, lawyers have equal opportunity at being employees or running their own business. Given sufficient market demand, lawyers can move back and forth between both types of employment to maintain a living and build a career. As a result, there are a number of career paths a lawyer can take beyond being a litigator.
Much of what a lawyer does in daily work involves legal research. This involves finding, reviewing and using various collections of laws and research to determine how to make decisions. In business, many activities require guidance as to what the legal ramifications are before taking a direction. Legal research provides this answer using the basic skills a lawyer learns in law school and in his first years as a practicing lawyer.
Lawyers can easily migrate into professor positions in general educational institutions such as colleges as well as law school. Much depends on a lawyer's academic record, and specialized professor positions are awarded to those with a proven record as adept lawyers. However, many schools hire lawyers as professors and lecturers to teach basic business law and other disciplines.
Beyond litigating is the career of being a judge. While many positions require some political involvement, a judgeship applies everything learned as a lawyer to review and decide the cases presented by other lawyers. Judgeships are entirely provided by city, state and federal governments, so pursuing such a career does mean, in effect, becoming a government employee. However, courts operate as a separate branch of government, and judges generally report to other judges within their own hierarchy systems.
Lobbyists and Legislative Roles
Legislative processes exist at the heart of creating and changing laws, and lobbying and legislative staff roles can offer significant careers for lawyers. Legally-trained experts can play important roles in providing legal reviews of laws proposed as well as advancing the interests of politicians or private parties in amending existing laws. Both government and private businesses hire advocates, lobbyists and legislative consultants to work on crafting new laws. Such roles can be found at the city, state and federal government levels with exposure in many areas of law.