In our fast-paced, modern world, the ways that people conduct business and practice law continue to change rapidly, and more law students are looking beyond traditional legal careers to explore new job opportunities that still value their legal training and skills.
Irina Gomelskaya is the Executive Director of Career Development and Employer and Alumni Relations in the Office of Academic Planning and Career Development at New York Law School (NYLS) and an adjunct professor. She is an expert on these types of jobs where having a law degree gives applicants a distinct advantage in performing the duties of the role, even if the positions are outside of the typical legal field. She works with NYLS students to find J.D. advantage jobs, providing them resources, career counseling, and organizing career fairs to help them explore expanded career opportunities in a variety of nontraditional legal roles or emerging industries. As a member and former Co-Chair the National Association for Law Placement’s (NALP) J.D. Advantage Work Group, she also works to help students on a national scale through programs such as J.D. Advantage Career Week.
Gomelskaya recently wrote an article, featured in The National Jurist, weighing in on J.D. advantage jobs, what sectors are seeing the most growth, and what law school students should know as they investigate these alternate career paths.
Among her constructive advice, she recommends that law students “start by identifying the types of jobs they are looking for. Most J.D. advantage/nontraditional jobs focus on specific skills and competencies. Some students have the necessary skills from their experience prior to law school. However, students can also develop the required skills, knowledge, and experience while in law school by taking upper-level electives and looking for internships and externships/co-ops to gain valuable real-world experience.”
As she notes in the article, “While we may not know the exact job titles of the future, we can train future lawyers to be successful by focusing on skills and competencies that will be valued and required to get the jobs done.”
Read the full article in The National Jurist to learn more about what areas are seeing the most growth, how students and recent grads can seek out J.D. advantage jobs, and more advice for navigating these emerging and nontraditional legal careers.