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What Do Lawyers Do? Careers in the Law: Five Quick and Easy Research Resources

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FAQ: “Do you have any books on careers in the law?

(Note for career seekers: do not confuse books “about the law” or books on “what lawyers do” with books on “the practice of law.”)

Law librarians are often asked if we have any books in our law libraries on what a legal career might look like, e.g. what does a prosecutor do? what does a patent lawyer do? what jobs are there for law school graduates? etc. Surprisingly, or not, most of us have very few, if any books on this subject in our law libraries.

This is primarily because most law library materials budgets are dedicated to purchasing print and online legal research resources for people who either have already graduated from law school or who don’t want to go to law school and just want to represent themselves in a single court case.

Of course there is a fine line between “what do lawyers do?” books and the books on legal careers that you will find in law libraries, e.g. those about or by disgruntled lawyers or about or by lawyers who have found “alternative” careers for people with law degrees, neither topic of much value to the high school or college student valiantly contemplating law school, a career in the law, or the value of a law degree.

For example, see these book lists: New York Law School or Chicago-Kent Law School.

However, the fact that law libraries don’t have any books specifically for high school and college students  doesn’t mean we (librarians) can’t answer the question, What Do Lawyers Do?

Here is my Quick and Easy Resource List on careers in the law:

One :Books

Check your local public library, college libraries, and bookstores for books on careers in the law. Really. It’s that simple. A library catalog “Subject Heading” search might look like this: Law – Vocational Guidance – United States.

Two: Occupational Outlook Handbook “Lawyers” homepage.

ThreeLaw School Admissions Council

FourLaw Schools:  Don’t forget a great source for information: Law School Career Services, Admissions Offices, and Incoming Students websites  Visit the websites of the law schools you think you want to attend and look at their websites for law school applicants, new students, for graduates, and for alumni/ae.

E.g. Yale Law School and Stanford Law School

Five: Miscellany: If you want to read books, blogs, and articles written by lawyers, you have centuries of those, millions of those from which to choose – and here are some easy online searches to help get you started (other than that library, bookstore, and index to legal periodicals):

Use these simple searches and variations on them:

law student reading list (or suggested reading list or entering law student …)
careers legal law lawyers
lawyer blogs careers
law school student life
life lives lawyer law

Go forth and find work you love and a purposeful life.