law jobs cover

Professor Andrew McClurg, along with coauthors Christine Coughlin (Wake Forest) and Nancy Levit (Missouri-Kansas City), has published Law Jobs: The Complete Guide (West Academic Publishing 2019).

The book provides in-depth exploration of each type of legal career, including large and medium-sized law firms, small firms and solo practitioners, in-house and other corporate counsel, government agency lawyers, non-governmental public interest law, prosecutors and public defenders, private criminal defense, JD Advantage jobs, contract lawyering, judges, mediators, and arbitrators, judicial law clerks, and legal academic jobs. For each career, Law Jobs offers general background, pros and cons, day in the life descriptions, and information about diversity, job availability, opportunities for advancement, and how students can best position themselves for opportunities.

The book also tackles issues such as lawyer happiness and the rapidly changing face of the legal profession due to technology and other forces.

McClurg said he got the idea for the book after reading too much about lawyer unhappiness and making the connection that many lawyers simply had never found the place where they belong in the legal world.

"Too many students do no serious career-planning at all, instead resigning themselves to take whatever job comes along. But it's far too important a decision to leave to chance."

What does he think is the key to finding the right job? "It varies by student. There is no single right or wrong job for everyone because we're all different. Students need to know themselves—their skillset, personality types, and true aspirations. Only then can they find the best job fit. We think our book does a good job of providing information to help students identify the careers most likely to lead to their long-term happiness."

In addition to extensive research over a two-year period, McClurg and his coauthors interviewed more than 150 lawyers who do the jobs. "The most gratifying part of the whole process was discovering how eager my former students were willing to help by sharing their experiences in different careers for the benefit of future lawyers. Same with my colleagues. Not a single person said, 'Oh, I'm too busy.' Everyone I asked for help generously pitched in."