Best Jobs Where a JD is Recommended, Not Required

By George Khoury, Esq. on February 07, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

For recent grads not looking to spend their days shuffling pleadings around, scrolling through ediscovery, or commuting from court to court, leveraging that JD for more pay in a non-legal industry job is actually a viable alternative.

Not surprisingly, employers that want JD degrees are looking for people who can understand legal terminology and documents, and apply the law or legal terms practically. For instance, employees that routinely negotiate contracts would certainly benefit from having graduated law school. In the corporate world, this can include more than just human resources positions.

Most Lucrative JD Preferred Jobs

Politics - There's a lot of money in politics and a law degree pretty much qualifies you to do almost anything in politics. It can even make that liberal arts degree in political science relevant. If you can stomach the high level of vitriol in politics, and are willing to live in or make frequent trips to D.C., a career in politics could be for you.

Compliance - If you truly crave a desk job with no clients and little interaction with civilization, a job in compliance would be great. Having a JD is excellent for the long term in compliance as it will make you more promotable, though maybe not so much for entry level jobs. However, compliance work that requires legal qualifications will often come with much higher pay.

Government Work - Not only do some government jobs pay a decent salary, most provide excellent benefits, and sometimes even real job security. Having that JD can certainly come in handy when applying for high level and management level administration/agency positions where directing and interpreting policies and law is necessary. However, like compliance work, you may need to start at the bottom before being able to get that high level or management job.

Is a JD Still Worth It?

Generally, if you like money and want to advance in a company, then yes, having a JD, or any additional education, is worth it. Degrees and postgraduate education can often set you apart, and be what gives you the leg up when an opportunity to advance or manage your department comes up.

But, given the high cost of a legal education, if you are not excited about a JD adjacent career path in politics, government, or middle management, pursuing the JD could unnecessarily set you back financially and leave you in debt for longer than you'd want.

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