20 Careers You Can Do With a J.D… That Don’t Require a Bar Card

Lifestyle, After the Bar, Money Moves

 Most people attend law school with the goal of becoming a lawyer. But sometimes they find out practicing law isn’t what they thought it would be or maybe passing bar results aren’t in the near future. For most of us, the job market is just scarce but we refuse to let this expensive degree go to waste. So until the government comes to term with the student loan debt crisis, we have to find a way to pay these bills.  So if you fall into one of those categories, here are 20 careers you can do with a a J.D. that don’t require a bar license. 

1. Software Representative

If you are good with computers, (if you are a Millennial you should be), being a software rep. may be good for you. I’m sure you remember seeing Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg reps. in law school. In the legal world there are those three, plus the tons of law practice software management companies. These companies are always looking for affiliates or reps. to get their product out there and troubleshoot for their customers.  

2. Legal Recruiter

This is human resources for the legal world. If you want to help others find their fit in the legal profession you could work as a recruiter for a law firm or staffing agency. 

3. Undergraduate Professor

If you have a love for teaching but you don’t have any interest in teaching law, you could teach at the Undergrad level. One of the advantages of undergrad teaching is that you have flexibility. A lot of colleges and universities administer courses online. You could start with whatever your undergrad degree is in and look for opportunities in that subject area. If your degree is less specific, you could look for opportunities in the Liberal Arts and Humanities like Philosophy or English. 


4. Law School Professor
If you love legal research and writing then a cushy full-time, tenured position may be in your future. But until you get those years of experience under your belt you could start by teaching as an adjunct at a law school. These courses typically aren’t doctrinal but they can give you a feel for the profession. Also, you would have the responsibilities of a professor like lecturing, grading papers, and holding office hours.

5. Screenwriter

If you like Hollywood then screenwriting can be a creative outlet for you.  Your law degree qualifies you to be a consultant for law-related shows and movies. Sometimes, writers need a pair of legal eyes for accuracy of scripts. 

6. Paralegal Instructor
If you love teaching others about the skills and practice side of the law, you should consider being a paralegal instructor. This would be another flexible teaching option since most programs are either online or at local community colleges. 

7. Healthcare Compliance

Healthcare companies often hire risk management personnel to review their internal compliance rules and manage onsite events. 

8. Non Profit Executive

Medium to Large sized non-profit organizations often have lawyers at their senior level. These roles are typically not practice inclusive and don’t require a bar license. 

9. Banking Compliance

Banks have substantial regulatory requirements for which they have a robust in-house team to help them manage.

10. Trust Officer

Independent trust companies and banks often have trust departments with fiduciary roles. You don’t have to be a J.D. for these positions but the people in them usually are. 

11. Law Librarian

If you like the in’s and out’s of the legal code being a librarian might be for you. Although, libraries are becoming less common, there is the ongoing need for the management of legislative history and public records.

12. Journalist

A lot of news that’s reported focuses on the law. This includes celebrity lawsuits and arrests, legal issues, new laws being proposed, old law being overturned, and the latest in government. If you like to write, then journalism can be for you. 

13. Arbitrator

A arbitrator is a third party that oversees disputes. They listen to the facts, interview parties and witnesses then, propose a resolution. If you want to be a legal referee then this is for you.

14. Author

Being an author is one of the most rewarding things you can do. You can share your law school experience, experiences with clients, problems in the justice system, getting into law school, the possibilities are endless. With self publishing being low cost and a DIY process, you are closer to those royalties than you think. 

15. Blog Writer

Every lawyer wants a blog but no lawyer has time to write it. This is where you come in. You can write blog articles and sell them or get hired to write for a firm on an on-going basis. 

16. Legal Marketing Consultant

Have you ever heard those trap legal commercials on the radio and thought you could’ve done better on the beat? If you have a background in marketing this field ideal for you. You can help firms find their potential clients by making their services known.

17. Social Media Manager

Social Media is its own beast. I often hear of attorneys wishing for more social media presence. They can’t find the time to have the presence they want and they can’t just let anyone takeover because of professional responsibility of the information you put out there. Being a social media guru and lawyer makes you a go-to solution. 

18. Agent

If you have a good understanding of contract law and you like to network, consider being an agent. You can work in industries like sports, entertainment, literary, etc. Insuring that your client gets the best deal possible can be very rewarding and lucrative. 

19. Law School Admissions Consultant


As long as law schools are open, how to get into a good one will always be a business. Now that you have successfully applied to, attended, and graduated law school, you can show others the ropes, and make a couple of bucks doing it.

20. Lobbyist 

If you have some political ties and would like to be a voice for a group of people or a business. Being a lobbyist is a way you can effect change on a greater scale. 

Graduating from law school can be grim if the perfect job or bar results don’t line up for you. But now that you have the J.D. look at the glass as half full.

from the lawyer next door,
Crystallace Fenn

FTC: I participate in an affiliate marketing program. If you choose to make a purchase as a result of clicking a link, I may receive a small commission of the sale. This helps me run my blog and I don’t talk about things I don’t actually use.

Legal Disclaimer: Although I am a lawyer by profession, I am not YOUR lawyer. All content and information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any kind of attorney-client relationship by your use of this website.

about the blogger
Hi, I’m Crystal and welcome to my blog. I’m a Millennial (and a lawyer) who enjoys sharing and helping others.
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