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What can I do with this major?

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Private Practice

  • Counsel
  • Administration
  • Librarianship
  • Large multi-office firms
  • Medium-size firms
  • Small firms
  • Sole practitioners
  • Legal clinics
  • Other private legal services

Corporate Law

  • In-House Counsel:
    • Transactional
    • Litigatory
  • Private Practice
  • Any large corporation (largest number of attorneys are at corporate headquarters)
  • Law firms with corporate law and related business practice areas

Public Interest Law

  • Counsel
  • Legal Aid Services
  • Public Defense
  • Civil Rights Law
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • Legal aid societies
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Public defender offices
  • Private groups
  • Nonprofit and public interest organizations, e.g. ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Law firms practicing public interest law

Federal Government

  • Counsel
  • Most government branches have legal counsel; some of the largest employers of lawyers are:
    • Department of Justice
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Central Intelligence Agency
    • Federal Trade Commission
    • Internal Revenue Service
    • Securities and Exchange Commission
    • Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps for all branches of the military

Federal Government

  • Judicial Clerkships
  • Federal courts of appeal and district court (trial) judges and magistrates
  • Bankruptcy and administrative law judges
  • State courts of appeal and trial level judges
  • Federal and state court clerkships for collective judges in a court

State and Local Government

  • Criminal Prosecution
  • Civil Law
  • Public Defense
  • District Attorney's Office
  • Attorney General's Office
  • State agencies, commissions, boards, executive and legislative office staff
  • Local agencies and commissions
  • City and county law offices


  • Teaching
  • Student Affairs (Law Schools and General Schools)
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Pre-Law Advising
  • Law Librarianship
  • General Counsel
  • Law schools including departments of:
    • Career Services
    • Admissions
    • Student Services
  • Law libraries
  • Business schools
  • Undergraduate departments of History and Political
  • Science
  • Paralegal schools
  • Universities and colleges including:
    • Judicial Affairs Office
    • Dean of Students
    • Human Resources

Patent, Copyright, Intellectual Property Law

  • Law firms (specialized)
  • Corporations
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Financial Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Banking

  • Bank trust departments
  • Brokerage firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Development offices for preparatory schools, hospitals, and universities

Energy Law, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

  • Law firms
  • Corporations
  • Federal agencies, especially Department of Energy
  • Environmental compliance services companies
  • State agencies
  • Regulatory commissions
  • Advocacy organizations

Family and Juvenile Law

  • Private practice
  • Government agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations

Health Law

  • Law firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Government agencies

International Law

  • Public
  • Private
  • Governments
  • International organizations
  • United Nations
  • World Bank
  • Private firms
  • Large corporations


  • Lobbying/Government Relations
  • Elected Office
  • Corporations
  • Trade and professional associations
  • Political action committees
  • Law firms
  • Public interest advocacy groups

General Information and Strategies

  • Students interested in attending law school may choose any major of interest. Some undergraduate majors can help prepare students for a particular area of law, e.g., a B.S. in environmental science for a career in environmental law.
  • Develop strong research and writing skills. Enhance communication skills through public speaking courses, debate team, or Toast Masters (a public speaking organization).
  • Maintain a high grade point average to increase chances of gaining admission to law school.
  • Join Phi Alpha Delta professional association.
  • Prepare for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) which is required by all law schools.
  • Secure strong personal recommendations from professors.
  • Find part-time jobs or internships in law firms or government agencies to reality test your interest in law and to gain relevant experience.
  • Participate in mock trial, student government, student judiciary boards, and other related organizations.
  • Completing the law degree, Juris Doctor or JD, typically takes three years of full-time coursework. After completion, one must pass a state bar examine in order to practice law.
  • Many specialities exist in the practice of law such as real estate, entertainment law, tax law, education law, sport law. New specialities are always emerging. Consider your interests and skills when choosing an area of practice.

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