What a JD Can Do For Your Career

August 13, 2019

What a JD Can Do For Your Career

A career in law is a noble pursuit. It takes commitment and a lot of hard work. A juris doctor degree (J.D. degree) is required for taking state Bar exams. However, the topics covered and skills learned in earning a J.D. degree have applications in many other respected professions, particularly in business. The path to becoming a lawyer or similar law profession can prepare people for a wide variety of other careers.

Legal Careers

In the legal profession, J.D. degree holders can become judges, magistrates, mediators, legal consultants, or court officers. Graduates may consider working in politics, public administration, real estate management, corporate business, or taxation. There are tons of career opportunities in a variety of legal fields beyond becoming an attorney. For example, a recent J.D. graduate of Empire Law School is applying her legal education in her career as a Federal Investigator. Her specialty is fraud, primarily financial, and she has recently been handling cryptocurrency/blockchain scams.

In Empire College’s Juris Doctor program, as with typical J.D. programs, the following curriculum are covered:

  • Civil Procedures
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contract Law
  • Torts
  • Courtroom Procedures
  • Criminal Law
  • Property and Real Estate Law
  • Civil Law
  • Public Law
  • International Law
  • Business Law

As you can see, practicing law is highly complex. But with the training you receive in pursuing a J.D., you gain the skills and knowledge to pursue specialized legal careers. J.D. degrees are especially useful in pursuing these specialized careers:

  • Legal Compliance
  • Health Policy Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Taxation Law
  • Elder Law
  • Personal Injury Law
  • Wills and Trusts


Non-Legal Careers

Business careers have the most J.D. holders of any industry. Legal practices and applications can play many roles in corporate business dealings, and many corporate business positions favor employees with legal backgrounds. In fact, employees with both legal and business management education have many more opportunities for growth compared to employees with only business education. Graduates of Empire College School of Law include local business leaders Steve Hansel, former president of Hansel Prestige Leasing; Joyce Shimetz, president of Simplify Your Biz and previous executive director of the Sonoma County Bar Association; and Patrick Kilkenny, who was serving as president/CEO of National Bank of the Redwoods during law school and applying his new knowledge on a daily basis.

Many of the topics covered in a J.D. program are plainly related to business dealings. And while most corporations retain legal departments, non-legal positions can maximize their value within their company by having general legal background. While it isn’t necessary for business students to pursue a legal degree of any kind, a J.D. certainly carries weight and can open up many advancement opportunities for the future.

Business isn’t the only career path in which a J.D. will improve your career. The general benefits and employment advantages of holding a J.D. are quite far-reaching. Not only do you learn the ins and outs of the American legal system, making you smarter in general, but people who have earned a J.D. are perceived by other people as highly intelligent and hard working. The following is just a small sample of the types of careers you can pursue with a J.D. degree:

  • Professional Counseling
  • Mediation
  • NGO’s and Nonprofits
  • Politics and Local Government
  • Banking and Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Journalism
  • Public Interest Advocacy

If you want to make yourself as competitive as possible in your job market, legal or non-legal, learning more about how a Juris Doctor degree can help you is a strong first step. Graduates from Empire College’s legal programs have gone on to do incredible things both in and out of law. Contact us today to see how you can open opportunities for your future with a Juris Doctor degree.  

Diane Aqui, Esq.

(Class of 2001)
Empire College gave me the opportunity to earn a Juris Doctorate while still working full time in my “first” career as an engineer. The professors are all practicing attorneys and judges and it is clear that they love what they do---guiding, teaching and mentoring a new group of potential lawyers, who one day will be their peers and practice alongside them in the legal community. I think one of my favorite cases since I graduated in 2001 was against a former Empire professor and I walked away with a win!

Andrew Conway, Esq.

(Class of 2014)
I decided to go to law school after interning for the Diversion program for the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office while I was in college. Empire provided me with friends who became colleagues, and Professors who became the Judges I appear in front of today. I have always wanted to work with the law and youth and I now manage a Dependency contract for Mendocino County, which has become my dream career as I get to do the exact job I wanted when I decided to go to law school. I definitely have my dream job thanks to Empire and their exceptional professors.

James V. Sansone, Esq.

(Class of 2006)
I picked Empire College because I had to juggle between family obligations and a fulltime job. Empire was the only option that allowed me to effectively manage my work and family obligations and still pursue a law degree. Thanks to Empire, I was able to pass the bar exam on my first try and begin a new, exciting, and lucrative legal career that I love.