To practice law, you must attend law school, earn a JD, and pass the state bar exam. However, there are many other jobs that relate to law broadly defined and that do not require a JD. To find out if a law degree would compliment your area of interest, do some career exploration to identify your skills and values.
First step – decide if law is right for you
The UofL Career Development Center has online assessments (the Cards Career Navigator), or you can make an appointment to meet with a career counselor. These assessments can help you choose your career based on your strengths and interests. They can also connect you to internship, shadowing, and part-time employment opportunities so you can get a sense of what different jobs are actually like.
Is Law School Worth It?
Watch this balanced and informative 9 minute video that discusses the financial dimensions of going to law school. It's highly recommended for anyone considering a career in law.
Consider a career in Public Service or Public Affairs
If you are interested in working on policy change broadly applied to a group of individuals, you may want to consider a career in public affairs. Many jobs in this area involve working with the law in some capacity (developing, implementing, or evaluating laws), but not practicing law.
Public Affairs Council – search for public affairs jobs, hiring & career management tips.
If you decide that you want to study and teach aspects of the law but not practice law, consider investigating the Master’s and PhD programs in social sciences or humanities. For a listing of UofL graduate programs, visit the website for the UofL School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.
Masters of Legal Studies Program
Consider these programs as alternatives to a J.D. or as potential stepping stones to law school.
Read what others have to saw about law school
If you've considered all of your options and interests and are ready to pursue and undergraduate degree that leads to law school, learn more from the following topics: