Waht to do with a JD besides practice law?

What can you do with a law degree besides being a practicing attorney? A friend thinks I should go to law school so that I can do legal research and writing. But what else does a JD qualify you to do? What other options are there?

There are whole books on the subject, such as The Lawyer’s Career Change Handbook and America’s Greatest Places To Work With A Law Degree. They’ll cover the subject in much greater depth that we could hope to on a message board.

Purely anecdotal, but I’ve heard from a number of people who went through law school that the only reason to do so is to practice law. Otherwise, I’ve been told, all that time, effort and money devoted to a very narrow application would be better spent elsewhere.

Lots of lawyers become politicians.

I know one dude with a JD who became a CPA. Yes, he’s a lawyer and an accountant. If it weren’t for his hobby of hang-gliding, he’d probably be the world’s most boring human.

Aha! That’s exactly the kind of resource I need!

I have a friend with a JD who also teaches school band. Lawyering is her side job. Go figure.

Law librarians tend to have both a Juris Doctor and a Master of Library & Information Science, but I don’t know if either is actually required.

I second Max Torques recommendations. I’ve read both books, they’re very interesting.

The first non-lawyer JD job that came to mind: be an FBI agent. I would have applied when I left the federal courts, but I’m color blind.

Can you expound on this? I don’t understand why your friend thinks this would be a useful skill outside the practice of law, and knowing that reasoning would help the recommendations a little.

I’m ashamed to admit that I failed a university course once - a course on tax accounting taught by a charming lady who after many years of practicing family law, decided to become an accountant to spice things up - all this on top of an MA.

Just to clarify, you are talking about something other than being a LAWYER for the FBI, that also requires a law degree?

No, he means being an agent.

Dana Scully (fictional, I know) was an MD and medical examiner before becoming an agent.

Not all of them are constantly getting in firefights while wearing blue jackets and so on, you know.

Special Agent for the FBI, under the Special Agent Entry Program: Law. It’s one of the five entry programs for Special Agents, the others being Accounting, Computer Science/Information Technology, Language, and Diversified. The Law program requires that the applicant possess a JD degree from an accredited law school.

You can work as a legislative aid, committee counsel, or something like that in Government. (sort of practicing law) You could be a clerk for a judge (sort or practicing law). You could teach ConLaw at a high school or Community College. You can do anything in any field and just enjoy the fact that you have a JD degree.

Wow, a thread in which I’m a qualified expert! (IWTGLSWDGAPTNYBBIANAPA[sup]**[/sup])

My wife and I run a communications consultancy—editorial and graphic design—that specializes in non-profits. While I had something of an analytical background before law school (major in econ and philosophy, minor in environmental science), it pales in comparison to what I graduated with. Think about it—how many times do you hear that law school doesn’t teach the law, it teaches how to think like a lawyer? While making 2-300 page reports conform to proper usage and style is one thing, returning documents with high-caliber substantive input is quite another, and quite a competitive edge.

It’s only been a few years so far; our long-term goal is to get into content creation, another field that will benefit from the background.

[sup]**[/sup]I Went to Georgetown Law School With Doper Gadarene And Passed The New York Bar But I Am Not A Practicing Attorney

I’m afraid I don’t understand your question. Could you rephrase?

What benefit is being able to do legal research and writing if you’re planning not to produce legal research and writing?

After getting my MBA (seemed more versatile than a JD) and working as a mangement consultant in the Big-4 I thought about going back for a JD. I ended up working for a litigation consulting firm. Turns out there’s a whole industry of litigation related support services:

Litigation consulting. Google “litigation or dispute consulting” or look at the litigation or dispute practices at any large consulting/accounting firm.

Litigation related software and support products

Compliance professionals

In my experience, compliance professionals are usually paralegals, but I suppose it depends what sort of compliance you’re talking about.

I must say, this thread is mighty enlightening.

Because the legal aspects of it are actually quite minimal and eminently fungible.

A friend and former colleague of mine is looking for “compliance” jobs at investment banks. She used to perform legal and industry research for the senior management in our firm.
I would suggest actually passing the bar and practicing law for about 2 years or so if you get a JD and then do something else. But basically, you want to leverage the two things a JD gives you - knowledge of the law / litigation industry and an ability to read through the minutia of large amounts of documents.