Career Story: Corporate Lawyer With Unconventional Duties

Corporate Lawyer With Unconventional Duties

Job Title: Attorney

Type of Company: My law firm handles corporate law and litigation matters. In addition, we offer counsel on labor and employment issues, tax and benefits, creditors' rights, and private client services. Our clients range in size from large to small companies and include financial institutions, government agencies, hospitals and health care organizations, colleges and universities, and families and individuals.

Education: BA, Religion, Washington University •• MLS, Library Science, Simmons College (Boston, MA) •• JD, Cardozo School of Law (New York, NY)

Previous Experience: I started work as staff attorney at legal services and then became assistant attorney general in New York State. I then was a contract attorney at a large plaintiff's class action law firm.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for writing policies that relate to the associates at the firm. The policies address who it is lawyers should go to if they want approval or payment for taking the bar exam, getting admitted to practice and registering each year to the bar. I answer all questions that have to do with bar related matters. At times I have to research the requirements of different state or federal jurisdictions. Currently, I am overseeing a project in which associates are encouraged to take off a year from the firm and go out to the community and perform public interest law. I am in touch with each person who is interested and answer all their questions. I help them as they decide if this is the best path in their career and answer any of their questions.

I also put together regular reports that summarize the most active litigation cases that we handle. I write up summaries of the matters and we publish this report and circulate it to everyone in the litigation department. This allows all attorneys to be aware of the variety of cases that we handle.

I also send out an email once a week to the litigation department and give highlights of the most recent decisions that have been made by courts on any of our cases.

I also am responsible for accepting legal documents that are brought to the firm.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: What I like the best about my job is that it is varied. Each day I am involved in many different projects. Since I have been at the firm, each year has been different. Depending on the needs of the firm, I have been asked to be involved in different projects. I work with smart people and I like the intellectual challenge.

What I don't like is the pressure and long hours. People expect you to respond to requests almost immediately and you are expected to complete projects as quickly as possible.

Job Tips: I think it is important that you get a good idea of the various opportunities today in practicing law. Many people who go to law school have no idea what lawyers do and are sometimes disappointed when they graduate and start working.

Also, the job opportunities today are limited. Public interest organizations are limited in funds and cannot hire as many attorneys as they need. Business is down so firms are also not hiring.

While you may go into law to make a good living, remember that you have the ability to help people in need. Consider doing some public interest law or even if you are in private practice, take time to do pro bono work, helping those in need even if it is not part of your regular law practice.

Additional Thoughts: There are opportunities to use your law degree in an unconventional way. The work I am doing requires me to have a law degree. However, I do not see clients. My legal training and experience put me in a position to apply for a variety of jobs that are not what you would think of. Think expansively when you think of what you would do with a law degree. Also, remember that if you go into law, you have the tools and training to help society and those less fortunate.

Popular Schools offering Law School Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

The Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law is a regionally accredited nonprofit law school. Our school is accredited by both the Western Association of Schools & Colleges Senior College and University Commission and the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.

  • Programs: Juris Doctor
  • Degrees: Doctorate

Hofstra University is a private institution whose primary mission is to provide a quality education to its students in an environment that encourages, nurtures and supports learning through the free and open exchange of ideas for the betterment of humankind.

  • Programs: Online Master of Laws in Health Law and Policy
  • Degrees: Master
Platt College
Alhambra, Anaheim, Ontario, Riverside

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Paralegal Studies
  • Degrees: Associate

Complete Your Bachelor's Degree 100% Online

  • Programs: BS in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Bachelor

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Master

Earn a highly respected online degree from Boston University

  • Programs: Master of Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Master
UEI College
Anaheim, Bakersfield, El Monte, Encino, Fresno, Gardena, Huntington Park, Ontario, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Marcos

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

  • Programs: Criminal Justice (9-Month Diploma Program)
  • Degrees: Diploma
Brightwood College
Bakersfield, Chula Vista, Clovis, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, Vista

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Associate

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).

  • Programs: MS in Criminal Justice - Criminal Justice , MS in Criminal Justice - Behavior Analysis Concentration
  • Degrees: Master

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.

  • Programs: Master - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Lawyers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Lawyers, including:

Back to Top