A JD Degree Can Advance Your Career

Earn your law degree and take your career in any industry to the next level

Explore the benefits of earning a law degree and all the ways it can help you advance your career (even if you’re not planning to be a lawyer) and see how Touro Law Center’s FlexTime JD program makes earning yours easy and convenient.

Think a law degree is just for lawyers? Think again! These days, everyone from accountants to human resources professionals to tech entrepreneurs is earning their JD as a way to enhance their knowledge and accelerate their career.

Jim Montes, Assistant Dean for Career Services at Touro Law Center, has seen this firsthand, particularly with students who enroll in Touro Law’s hybrid FlexTime JD program. “Many of our students are already working,” he explains. “They’re already professionals with busy careers, and earning a law degree builds the skills they need to move up. It’s really advantageous.”

In fact, a law degree can be a great stepping stone to a better career, even for those who have no intention of ever becoming lawyers. Keep reading to learn more about what you’ll gain by earning your law degree and how you can put it to use across a range of industries that extend well beyond law.

Cross-Career Benefits of Earning a Law Degree 

Even if you don’t have any interest in becoming a lawyer, going to law school has plenty of benefits – one of the most significant of which is improving your employability. Of those who graduated from law school in the US in 2021, nearly 92% were employed in full-time, long-term jobs within the first year. While some did work in law, others helped to satisfy the demand for legal expertise in other industries.

Earning a law degree also helps to develop both hard and soft skills that will improve your ability to do your current job or make you a more desirable candidate for other positions. As Montes explains, “Law school teaches you to think in a different way and to be more analytical in your approach. Also, you become a great writer and advocate.”

Law school can also help you:

  • Develop critical thinking, research, and problem-solving skills
  • Learn how to sift through evidence and analyze risks
  • Understand the intricacies of contracts, including how to read the fine print
  • Build your confidence, negotiating skills, and the ability to think on your feet
  • Enhance how you resolve conflicts and settle disputes
  • Improve your ability to make an impact in your community as volunteer or representative

Additionally, attending law school gives you the opportunity to build a diverse network with classmates that will likely go on to work in a wide range of industries. This can open doors for additional networking as your careers grow and take unexpected paths.

Alternative Careers You Can Pursue With a Law Degree                 

After graduating with a JD, of course you can work in law, but you can also continue in your chosen career field or move into a new area altogether. According to Montes, the graduates of Touro Law Center’s FlexTime program are equally split, with about half doing legal and the other half remaining where they worked before law school – but in potentially more advanced roles.

No matter which path you opt take, having a law degree will make you a more desirable candidate for the role you choose to pursue. More and more jobs are becoming “JD advantage” or “JD preferred,” where a law degree isn’t required but will set you apart from the competition.  Montes agrees that a law degree can be an advantage, noting, “Law school teaches skills like negotiating, communication, and advocacy. A law degree goes a long way for any job that requires those kinds of skills.”

These are just a few of the areas in which having a degree in law can improve your career prospects:

  • Human Resources – HR professionals frequently interact with employees and lawyers, and having knowledge of the law can significantly improve their ability to resolve conflicts, handle contracts, adhere to labor laws, understand requirements, implement policies, and more.

  • Public Policy/Politics – Advisors and elected officials are better able to make informed decisions when they have a thorough understanding of the law and the Constitution. Law school coursework can also prepare graduates to work in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) roles in a wide variety of environments.

  • Academics – Of course, a law degree opens the door for teaching at a law school, but it also qualifies you to teach legal subject matter at the high school or undergraduate level. There are also other law-related roles available in academia, including administrator, fellow, and policy advisor.

  • Nonprofits/NGOs – Having legal knowledge is invaluable for advocacy work, providing a foundation for navigating complicated rules and regulations. The negotiating skills developed in law school can also provide an edge when it comes to advocating for policy changes or fighting for social justice issues.

  • Healthcare – Professionals who are educated in both health and the law can take on crucial healthcare roles that span everything from compliance and risk management to malpractice and disciplinary matters. Legal knowledge also comes in handy for roles related to benefits and administration.

  • Compliance – Experts in compliance who have an in-depth knowledge of the law are better able to assess business processes and apply legal principles in practical ways. These roles are becoming increasingly “JD preferred” and provide an opportunity to work in nearly any industry, from pharmaceuticals to tech to the military.

Discover Touro law Center's FlexTime JD Program 

While there’s no doubt that earning a law degree can advance your career or open the door to new paths, it can be a daunting prospect – particularly if you’re already a working professional. That’s where Touro Law’s FlexTime JD Program can help. “This program is really about giving part-time students even more convenience,” explains Montes.

The FlexTime JD Program was created to make earning a law degree more convenient for students who need extra flexibility. Whether you’re working while you pursue your JD or you have family obligations or other responsibilities that make a full-time law school program impractical, FlexTime accommodates your needs by requiring just one day a week of on-campus attendance.

Here’s how this hybrid program works: During the week, you can complete online coursework asynchronously on your own schedule and at your own pace. Then, every Sunday, you’ll attend classes in person at Touro Law Center’s Long Island campus in Central Islip or at the brand new, state-of-the-art Cross River Campus in the heart of Manhattan in Times Square.

The Flextime JD curriculum is a rigorous course of study that incorporates evidence-based teaching. Students can complete the Touro FlexTime JD program in four years. After graduation, they’re eligible to sit for the New York State Bar Exam, (and any other state’s bar exam) or can take their JD and extensive knowledge of the law to work in a wide range of industries.

Students get the benefit of their own career counselor, who is assigned during their first semester and supports them throughout their time at Touro. This approach allows the careers team to really get to know students.

If you’re ready to build your knowledge, advance your career, and earn your law degree in a way that’s convenient for you, the Touro Law Center’s FlexTime JD program might be the perfect solution. Contact us for more details on how to enroll and take the next step in your career journey.


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