Due to advancements in technology, increased outsourcing, and globalization, students are not necessarily graduating law school and entering a big law firm on track to become a partner. A legal career can take you into a solo practice, a virtual practice, electronic discovery, in-house counsel for a startup, or in an alternative direction using your services in a different way. If a lawyer is choosing an alternative career path over a mainstream model, how do they select a legal career? What can he or she do in law school to prepare for the legal industry in the twenty-first century?
In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Heidi Alexander interviews Alison Monahan and Lee Burgess, founders of the online resource Trebuchet Legal, about the steps to creating an alternative legal career path and what students should be doing in law school to prepare for the future.
Monahan and Burgess each discuss their beginnings in big law firms and why they decided to seek out paths of advising other lawyers. To take a different path, they explain, lawyers must be interested and willing to take risks, learn new skills, and take the plunge. Seek out entrepreneurs or experts in your field of interest, ask questions, network, and make connections. Law students are taught to learn, Monahan explains, so it is possible for lawyers to become educated about alternative subjects that might lead to unknown legal careers.
With regard to law school, Monahan and Burgess urge students not to simply expect a job after graduation. In order to be truly successful, you must learn to be an amazing student, pursue excellence in a craft, and develop confidence in your abilities while still in law school. Lastly, they encourage all current and potential law students not to be discouraged. There is still an incredible need for lawyers in many fields.