If you’re studying law, you are probably referred to as a lawyer by friends and family on a regular basis. In fact, many students choose to get a law degree to pursue a career as an attorney. However, being a lawyer is only one of the many things a law graduate can do. In Bangladesh, a law graduate has great career prospects. Knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the laws is an asset that can land you some great jobs, and might even give you an upper hand in certain fields. And not only that, you can choose from a diverse range of specifications within the legal field. Here’s a list of professions you can choose from as a law graduate.
It only makes sense to include the most obvious at the start. In order to start your career as a lawyer, you will need to get through the Bar enrollment exam. As a junior student of law, you might want to make court visits to get familiar with the work atmosphere. It is generally a good idea to start with internships at law firms in your final year or the year after you graduate. Speak to other seniors who are practicing for a realistic understanding of the work hours, challenges and advantages of being a practicing lawyer before you decide whether this is the right fit for you.
An extremely coveted legal profession for fresh graduates is the job of a judge. As a starting judge, a graduate will need to appear for the Bangladesh judicial service exam. Every year, large groups of law students appear for this highly competitive exam and very few are selected. If you think the Bench is preferable to the Bar, you might want to start preparing for the test.
If you find genuine interest in extensive legal reading and research, you may have great opportunities in legal academia. The most popular option within academia would be one of a law teacher, but this isn’t the only choice. You may choose to work with national and international research organisations and can even be an independent researcher.
Most established companies have a dedicated legal branch that regularly hire law graduates. If you are more comfortable with the corporate branches of law, this is a great option for you.
Development Work (NGOs)
If you are passionate about social work, there is a huge range of job prospects in the development sector that you can opt for. Many NGOs work with legal rights of different classes of people on national and global levels. UN bodies, USAID, BRAC, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Ain o Salish Kendra are some popular examples.
Almost all establishments need some form of legal advice, and therefore, consultancy is always a great option for law graduates. The attractive part of consultancy is that you may choose to do it alongside your permanent job. It’s certainly flexible, but a definite level of expertise is expected from consultants.
Law and politics are intricately linked, and it is very important for a good politician to have a strong understanding of legal issues. If you want to have a direct role in legislative work and policy making, a law degree will be a huge qualification.
If writing is your strength, you can also opt to pen news articles on legal issues or report on the contemporary legal developments as a journalist. For this job, you must make sure to be updated on current affairs.
Public interest advocate
If you feel strongly about the rights of the people and want a proactive role in bringing about socio-legal reforms, you can be a rights advocate or activist. This profession is extremely fulfilling as it works directly with the people and their struggles.
As a law graduate, you may opt to pursue a career as a civil servant. While you have to go through rigorous testing in order to qualify, once you get selected, your law degree will give you an upper hand and help you excel.
Mediation, negotiation and arbitration are a recent but exciting and promising field for law students. If the area sparks your interest, you can expect a challenging and educational experience as a mediator.
These are some of the common career prospects for a law graduate, but the list is far from exhaustive. If you want to be innovative, you can even use your legal knowledge to build a career in fields that may not be strictly within the legal arena. A law degree is a great base for many careers, but whatever you choose to do, try to weigh the pros and cons of it and select a profession that fits your personality, work ethic and skill sets. Assess yourself, but don’t limit yourself; the possibilities are endless.
Lubaba is a law student at the University of Dhaka. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.