Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

How do you find a JD preferred job?

Yeah, yeah, there are no JD preferred jobs, blah blah blah. demarsay07/17/16
My previous job was jd preferred. I thought about the skills redwhineo08/11/17
I joined the Navy though OCS and I haven't looked back. I wo lawtard08/12/17
Lucky, I don't have that option. I'm too old to join the mil notreallyalawyer08/15/17
I joined the Navy though OCS in 2014 and I haven't looked ba lawtard08/12/17
Who knows. I get discouraged whenever I search; in a major m loblawyer07/17/16
If you are willing to relocate to London, JD Advantage jobs passportfan307/17/16
LOL ..... I fell off my chair when I read this. patenttrollnj08/11/17
Ha. So true though. So true. lawtard08/12/17
There's a lot of jobs for recent law grads. If you've been tttpride2507/17/16
How do I find JD preferred jobs on job search sites like Ind demarsay07/17/16
I just searched "AML" and applied for all the jobs where it tttpride2507/17/16
You type in "JD preferred" into the search box on indeed.com mbtpd08/06/16
This just came in my email: Qualifications. Must be sanka08/10/17
$21.36? That's insulting. cheesecake08/10/17
To who? I'd take that in a second when I was a new grad. lol lawtard08/12/17
Craigslist, temp to perm. triplesix08/10/17
Yea for whatever reason, Anti Money Laundering (AML) jobs ar lawyer208/10/17
Good point, many jd preffered jobs are actually jd required triplesix08/10/17
Just curious, have you seen any AML jobs that don't require notreallyalawyer08/15/17
It helps to know people, and not be too far out of school. I bucwild08/10/17
I am currently in the process of transitioning out of insura mrtor08/11/17
Yes, they exist; however, I submit that these "JD Preferred" patenttrollnj08/11/17
Just for the record, many healthcare compliance jobs do not pherc08/11/17
I didn't say clinical experience was required. Obviously it patenttrollnj08/11/17
It simply isn't as hard as you are making it out to be. Heal pherc08/11/17
I hope you're right. Anyway, I had to look-up the term "u patenttrollnj08/11/17
My career path: doc reviewer for law firm (contractor via st nonlinearjdmba08/13/17
"treated better than a disposable metric." Such is the br sanka08/15/17

demarsay (Jul 17, 2016 - 4:39 pm)

Yeah, yeah, there are no JD preferred jobs, blah blah blah.

Seriously though, how do you find job opportunities in compliance or insurance or whatever?

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redwhineo (Aug 11, 2017 - 5:56 pm)

My previous job was jd preferred. I thought about the skills lawyers use and then sought out jobs that use similar skills. I search "contract drafting" and "contract negotiation" and landed a contact admin job. Try to broaden your search as much as possible; do not just search jd preferred.

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lawtard (Aug 12, 2017 - 4:55 pm)

I joined the Navy though OCS and I haven't looked back. I work in IW community now. Made LTJG a few months back. I just came back from a 6m deployment on the USS Wayne

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notreallyalawyer (Aug 15, 2017 - 8:24 pm)

Lucky, I don't have that option. I'm too old to join the military..

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lawtard (Aug 12, 2017 - 5:06 pm)

I joined the Navy though OCS in 2014 and I haven't looked back. I work in IW (intelligence warfare) community now. Made LTJG a few months back. I just came back from a 6m deployment on the DDG W.E. Meyer. I get good pay, benefits, and I had a 2 year shore rotation - I can't say where or what due to the usual classified stuff. I'm on sea duty now. Its really not that bad. Other than getting extended and spending 72 extra days at sea, we went to Korea, Singapore, and Guam this det. Last year, I went to South America.

I graduated from Law School in 2010 from Umass Dartmouth - FKA SNESL. Spent like 3 years trying to make it as a lawyer. Worked as a clerk, doc reviewer, and did a **it ton of other jobs not even related to law (or requiring a degree). I will have no debt after I retire from the service due to PSLF. My total debt load is: 350k with all the interest and **it.

The military isn't the answer for everyone but there are ways of using PSLF if you can to manage your debt. There are other public services you can do. Police, FBI, Homeland Sec is hiring. No one cares about your JD. I never brought it up, and when people asked what a JD is. Oh, its some stupid masters thing - that is my boilerplate answer. People I work with know I'm an ex-attorney (or recovering attorney).

JD perferred jobs are like unicorns. Unless you have some kind of industry experience they won't hire you. It would be like if you applied for a FAA regulatory position but you don't know anything about aviation. Who are they going to take? They guy who worked in aviation for 20 years and has a business degree. Or the guy who has no industry experience and has a JD? You tell me. Think like a hiring manager -- realize that people don't want to OJT anymore. They want prepackaged applicants. Sure that's nuts but getting some kind of financial, banking, or nut farming experience will help you break into one of these jobs.

Think outside the box.

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loblawyer (Jul 17, 2016 - 7:08 pm)

Who knows. I get discouraged whenever I search; in a major metro with a lot of companies and hardly anything seems to be advertised.

But if you want small law lit jobs, there are plenty of those available.

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passportfan3 (Jul 17, 2016 - 7:36 pm)

If you are willing to relocate to London, JD Advantage jobs are the specialty of an employment agency in Diagon Alley.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 11, 2017 - 11:36 am)

LOL ..... I fell off my chair when I read this.

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lawtard (Aug 12, 2017 - 5:08 pm)

Ha. So true though. So true.

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tttpride25 (Jul 17, 2016 - 10:56 pm)

There's a lot of jobs for recent law grads. If you've been out of school for a while it's less about being a law grad and more about what your experience is. Before I got the experience I just applied everywhere (mostly through indeed).

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demarsay (Jul 17, 2016 - 11:26 pm)

How do I find JD preferred jobs on job search sites like Indeed?

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tttpride25 (Jul 17, 2016 - 11:53 pm)

I just searched "AML" and applied for all the jobs where it looked like they would be open to hiring recent law grads. I was able to get a number of interviews that way.

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mbtpd (Aug 6, 2016 - 12:28 pm)

You type in "JD preferred" into the search box on indeed.com. That's how I landed my previous job.

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sanka (Aug 10, 2017 - 2:30 pm)

This just came in my email:

Qualifications.


Must be a US Citizen and be able to obtain and maintain a Security Clearance.


JD & Cite Checking experience required.


An equivalent level of legal training may be substituted with the approval of the COR.

THIS IS AN SCA POSITION WITH AN HOURLY RATE OF $21.36

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cheesecake (Aug 10, 2017 - 2:37 pm)

$21.36? That's insulting.

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lawtard (Aug 12, 2017 - 5:10 pm)

To who? I'd take that in a second when I was a new grad. lol I worked on 10 dollars an hour when I was commuting to Manhattan everyday as a clerk in 2010-2011. Its a stepping stone to something better.

Entitlement much.

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triplesix (Aug 10, 2017 - 2:51 pm)

Craigslist, temp to perm.

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lawyer2 (Aug 10, 2017 - 2:58 pm)

Yea for whatever reason, Anti Money Laundering (AML) jobs are usually JD required and pretty prevalent. It's decent pay ($50K) if you're just starting out. OP have you sat for the bar yet?

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triplesix (Aug 10, 2017 - 3:04 pm)

Good point, many jd preffered jobs are actually jd required with the bar being optional. At least that's my experience. They just say jd preffered, to low ball losers and suckers.

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notreallyalawyer (Aug 15, 2017 - 8:25 pm)

Just curious, have you seen any AML jobs that don't require experience in the field alraedy? Everything I see requires multiple years experience, which I don't have.

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bucwild (Aug 10, 2017 - 3:45 pm)

It helps to know people, and not be too far out of school. I obtained what should be a JD preferred job (although it was not advertised in this way) in IP consulting during 3L. It helped that I had a technical background, demonstrated IP interest through 1L/2L internships, stellar undergrad and law school grades, and a friend to get my resume through the HR drones. For the record, none of my direct coworkers had JDs. I doubt I would have been interviewed without my friend vouching for me.

I've heard of people making the jump into compliance from law, but it almost involved knowing the right person. Outside of networking, you need to demonstrate some applicable knowledge and skills. I had a classmate graduate in bottom 10% of our class who had multiple offers in healthcare compliance at graduation because she worked in that field prior to school. She now makes more than many of my classmates who remained in law.

The most improbable career transition I know of is a woman with 10 years in workers' comp defense. She transitioned into a banking compliance role for a small but well known local bank. She had a friend at the bank get her in the door for an interview, and she sold her skills as an attorney to be relevant to compliance, even though she had absolutely no knowledge of the industry. They even paid for her certifications needed to perform the job.

I rarely hear of jobs actually listing a JD as a preference or an advantage. To find these types of jobs, look at smaller employers. Large companies and corporations are not going to take a chance on hiring someone who doesn't exactly fit the mold of an ideal employee. Smaller companies will actually consider how your unorthodox skills may be a benefit, and it may even be a plus to hire someone who can wear multiple hats.

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mrtor (Aug 11, 2017 - 9:33 am)

I am currently in the process of transitioning out of insurance defense to healthcare risk management. As others have mentioned, it is largely opportunity and luck. I applied to scores of insurance and compliance type positions without any success whatsoever. One day, a call came in about the regional healthcare risk manager position. I learned at my interview that the director had a legal background and had success hiring another attorney for the same role in a different region. We hit it off, our personalities clicked, and she went to bat for me against the suspicious hospital leadership who did not like attorneys and typically preferred nurses and other clinical practitioners for the position. It took five or six rounds of interviews, but I finally received a surprisingly generous offer that came in well above what local associate attorneys are earning at my level.

I think a major component of branching out of practice is selling yourself. You need to be able to explain why you want to transition into the new field. You also need to be able to spin some type of relevant experience. In my case, my ID practice focused on personal injury and work comp. I pitched my familiarity with medical diagnoses and treatment, medical records, certain healthcare statutes, etc. I also emphasized my claims management experience and related law as a form of risk management in and of itself. I may have stretched it as far as I possibly could, but I also acknowledged my shortcomings so that everyone is aware there will be some degree of a learning curve.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to self-study about the areas you are targeting. While you can often BS your way through law, you must sound competent if you want to be taken seriously and considered for different fields. Very few employers are going to risk hiring an attorney for a non-attorney role unless they are certain that attorney wants to leave practice and wants to enter the specific field they are interviewing for.

Do not be afraid of job listing qualifications. They are often a wishlist and are very malleable. In my case, I had half of the overall experience and none of the clinical experience that was listed for my position. So many attorneys miss out on opportunities because they don't see themselves as a precise fit for the "required" qualifications. In reality, if you are trying to leave the field, you are probably not going to be a perfect fit for many of these types of positions. You will have to learn new things, you will make mistakes, and you will have to try to get up to speed as quickly as possible.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 11, 2017 - 12:11 pm)

Yes, they exist; however, I submit that these "JD Preferred" jobs are so difficult to get, they might as well not exist for all intents and purposes.

The knowledge/training required is so specific, most mere law school graduates don't have it or can't easily obtain it. Also, you're dealing with the same "glut" of attorneys as you would when applying for a legal job, but this time you're also competing against people in the very industry you're trying to get into.

For example, compliance jobs in healthcare are held by actual healthcare providers (nurses, etc.), so what makes you think being a lawyer will help you get this job?? Wouldn't they prefer someone who has actually treated patients? Can you spin your experiences the way mrtor did (see above)? Or, is your law degree from Harvard (which can open doors)? Do you have any connections?

It's not a coincidence that ex-laweyrs (or failed lawyers) end up settling for unremarkable jobs that they could have obtained with a mere associate degree. Most lawyers I know who aren't practicing law are either real estate agents or work for an insurance company in some capacity. Sure, I've heard of some cool career paths people have taken, but those seem to be the exception.

Therefore, if you really think you can do better, my humble advice is to focus on retraining and/or return to school for something marketable. Sure, give the job search a good shot, but don't get too upset if it fails .... the job situation is very difficult for lawyers.

On a more brighter note, this notion of the law degree being a "scarlet letter" seems to be very overstated, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Rather, focus on building your skills.

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pherc (Aug 11, 2017 - 7:39 pm)

Just for the record, many healthcare compliance jobs do not require clinical experience. Work in the healthcare field and deal with the compliance folks all the time, many of them are JDs, MBAs, etc. These are not unicorn jobs, even if you will have to hustle to get them, like most jobs.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 11, 2017 - 10:49 pm)

I didn't say clinical experience was required. Obviously it isn't.

What I'm saying is that these are very hard jobs to get, and in many (dare I say most) cases not tenable. Honestly, why would they hire a lawyer for this position, unless said lawyer was intimately familiar with the industry? And it's not just healthcare, but rather any industry a lawyer attempts to break into.

Like I said, it's no coincidence many law school graduates end-up settling for jobs below their schooling. Hustling just isn't enough sometimes.

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pherc (Aug 11, 2017 - 11:02 pm)

It simply isn't as hard as you are making it out to be. Healthcare is a business I know quite a lot about, and healthcare compliance is chock full of JDs. You shouldn't go to law school to pursue such a career, but if you are already a JD it really is a viable option.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 11, 2017 - 11:13 pm)

I hope you're right.

Anyway, I had to look-up the term "unicorn job" to know what you meant. It's a useful term to know!

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nonlinearjdmba (Aug 13, 2017 - 12:19 am)

My career path: doc reviewer for law firm (contractor via staffing agency) -> doc review project manager eventually hired as employee for large company ("staff attorney") -> contracts analyst for big company (a lot of admin, some drafting, no negotiating) -> contract negotiator for large bank (combination of drafting and negotiating, some light admin)

Last two roles are strong JD preferred, and both were results of contacts and experience I leveraged from previous jobs. I don't love my job, but I'm doing a lot better than scraping by and I'm actually treated better than a disposable metric, so I cannot complain.

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sanka (Aug 15, 2017 - 10:32 am)

"treated better than a disposable metric."

Such is the brass ring, the respect, the prestige, after law school misery.

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