Pre-Law Advising

Explore Degrees and Careers

There are multiple types of law degrees and these can lead to many different types of law careers. Explore which of these may be the best fit for you.

Myriad Paths in Law

Most people think first of law firms, public defenders or prosecutors, representing many clients, or in-house jobs working at a company and having that company as their single client. However, lawyers work in many more settings and do things besides representing clients. Lawyers may be diplomats, legislators, judges, mediators, consultants, actors, lobbyists, professors, writers, public interest advocates, business executives, financial analysts, hedge fund or private equity fund partners; they can work in think tanks, not for profits, or media companies. Lawyers can be involved in diverse subject matter; you can choose a legal career based on the industry or issue you care about – civil rights, the environment, immigration, business – and within that industry or issue, you can choose what kind of lawyering you’d like to do: private or public interest litigation, regulatory advice, interest group advocacy, deal work; there are multiple dimensions and ways to think about using a law degree.

There are several types of academic programs that lead to careers in law and several different types of law degrees. Awareness of the degrees you could pursue will enable you to make an informed choice before deciding on a particular path to legal practice.
When considering a career in law, one factor to think about is the various settings in which legal work is done. Lawyers use their degrees in many different settings; you may find each attractive for different reasons.
Law is an endlessly diverse field. Law schools do not expect you to know what kind of law you want to practice before you matriculate, but it’s helpful to have an idea of the variety of legal subjects that are out there.