There Are Many Other Things You Can Do With a Law Degree

By Archana Patrick
A law degree is often regarded as a ‘versatile’ degree largely due to the fact that it opens doors to other unique careers moving away from the traditional route of being a lawyer.
Strong negotiation and analytical skills picked up while studying law are essential qualities required to be successful entrepreneurs or founders of startup companies in the competitive business world. A contemporary example is CanLaw, a legal tech startup leveraging on technology to provide a lawyer-discovery platform which promotes open access to justice.
Rhetorical skills acquired by law graduates are also well-suited for a career in politics. There are many eminent leaders and politicians with legal background. World statesmen such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and former US President Barack Obama – to name a few – had a legal career before they became big in politics. Malaysia’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman was also a law graduate.
Similarly, as great speakers are capable of engaging with their audience, those with legal background tend to possess the ability of becoming great leadership coaches or motivational speakers, such as Robin Sharma, one of the world’s top leadership expert and author of the international bestseller ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’.
Law graduates are also known to make positive impacts on society by choosing to get involved in charities or non-governmental organisations (NGOs), championing social causes.
In the commercial world, arbitrators and mediators are sought after to settle matters out of court. Alternative dispute resolution is preferred to save time and costs incurred by businesses in bringing disputes to court.
Joining the legal academia as a law lecturer may be a viable option to those who enjoyed studying law rather than legal practice. Many lawyers have been known to make this career move to share their knowledge for the benefit of future aspiring lawyers.
If all these don’t fit you. Think about making a career out of writing with the law degree. Having a knack for the written work makes law degree holders a natural fit for careers in journalism and legal publishing.
Or even as authors. Critically acclaimed Malaysian author Tash Aw, whose debut novel “The Harmony Silk Factory” was longlisted for a Man Booker prize and won the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel (Asia Pacific region) is an example.
Public relations meanwhile may be a suitable option for those who enjoy networking and building professional relationships, including specialisation in a particular field such as sports or the fashion industry. Law degree holders with an interest in human resources or recruitment could even be legal recruitment specialists.
The list goes on and these are just some samples. So when you study law, don’t just think that you will have to wear a black coat and need to be in courts, or prepare documents in a tiny room.

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