The NEW What Can You Do with a Law Degree?, authored by Larry Richard & Tanya Hanson, is a book that provides job seekers with a process for finding the job most satisfying for his or her individual identity. A copy of this resource is available in the Career Development Office.
The book begins with a section that explains the general importance of ascertaining one’s career identity and how the process of doing so assists in finding the most satisfying job in the long run.
The heart of the book is the second section, which walks the reader through the authors’ Lawyer Career Satisfaction Model, which classifies a lawyer’s identify as having five different elements that contribute to job satisfaction. Each remaining chapter in this section then provides a description of one of these elements as well as various exercises to help the reader discover his or her career identity.
The third section describes how job seekers can use the information they have learned about their career identities to find a satisfying job. One of the more helpful aspects of this resource is that it categorizes jobs into three different types: law, law-related, and non-law jobs. The next few chapters of this section offer some practical advice to job seekers, such as how to research in order to find potential jobs, transition into a new job, overcome common stereotypes that non-law employers may have about lawyers, and develop a strong support system.
The final section is a series of appendices, the most helpful of which may be a list of more than 800 potential jobs, broken up into about 30 categories, for holders of law degrees. The section also contains a listing of education programs that can help build credentials, advice for how to work effectively with a career counselor, and more exercises for discovering one’s career identity.
The only potential drawback of this book is that it is more time-consuming to read than are many other job-search resources. Although most of the exercises are brief, a reader will spend a significant amount of time doing them all.
However, for those who prefer a methodical approach and who are dedicated to putting time and effort into finding the most satisfying career possible for them, this book is very helpful. Even for those who are not as interested in finding their “career identity,” the appendix section offers a useful starting point for discovering possible careers. Finally, the most unique benefit of this resource is that, contrary to many other similar books, it provides a significant amount of material that is helpful to those seeking to utilize their law degrees to pursue non-law jobs.