As of 2021, 35,287 students graduated from law school in the United States. While becoming an attorney is generally the first outcome envisioned for JD graduates, there are many career paths you can pursue.
To open possibilities for career outcomes, consider Golden Gate University. GGU has been San Francisco’s law school since 1901. Located in the heart of the city’s legal, technology, and financial hub, GGU offers students the ability to earn their J.D. both online and on-campus through our hybrid degree program.
Where can you go after completing our JD Flex program? What area of law can you practice after getting your law degree? Here are the top ten possibilities when it comes to legal careers.
1. Patent Prosecution Or Litigation
For every creator, inventor, and artist, patents are essential. Patent prosecution is the process of drafting, filing, and negotiating with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to obtain patent protection and rights for an invention. Patent litigation involves legal proceedings to address infringement after a patent has been procured.
2. Trademark And Copyright Registration, Counseling, And Litigation
Trademarks protect words, phrases, symbols, designs, or a combination of these things that identifies a company’s goods or services in the marketplace. Attorneys working with trademarks offer counseling services that help you ensure your intellectual property assets are protected while maintaining the flexibility to make the most of them in an evolving global marketplace.
3. Trade Secret Protection
Any business that has confidential information critical to its organization, whether technical or commercial, could be considered a trade secret. Trade secret protection confers owners the right to prevent the information lawfully within their control from being disclosed, acquired, or used by others without their consent in a manner contrary to honest commercial practice.
4. Entertainment And Sports Law
Entertainment and sports law encompasses many legal areas pertaining to those two fields. Entertainment and sports law attorneys handle civil or criminal matters while representing clients. They can negotiate contracts, settle disputes, and resolve intellectual property issues.
5. Brand Development And Marketing
When it comes to marketing, a company must protect its intellectual property and brand. IP attorneys make sure that the brand stays unique, stands out in its market, and maintains its industry reputation by following the proper channels. GGU’s Intellectual Property Law Career Track helps prepare professionals to achieve those goals.
6. Criminal Defense Or Prosecution
If you watch any cop show, you’ve heard something called Miranda rights rattled off. “You have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you.”
The right to representation by counsel in a criminal proceeding is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Criminal defense attorneys help clients navigate the criminal justice system, prepare and assert their legal defense, and ensure their rights are protected throughout the process.
On the other side, prosecutors institute legal proceedings against a person on behalf of the state. They are meant to investigate or prosecute criminal cases, as well as provide legal advice regarding a criminal matter to government lawyers, agents, or offices participating in the investigation or prosecution of criminal cases.
GGU graduates have gone on to work as both criminal litigators with some of the most renowned public defender offices in the country, such as the Office of the Alameda County Public Defender, as well as attorneys at progressive district attorney’s offices, such as the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
7. Legal Aid
Legal aid was built on the belief that no person should be denied the right to equal justice. Professionals serving these institutions offer free legal services to low-income individuals in areas such as housing, family, and healthcare.
8. Nonprofits And Government Agencies
Becoming a lawyer does not mean you need to practice law. Our students gain exposure to a variety of social justice and public interest career paths. The skills learned throughout your law school career help you become an advocate, however that manifests. You can work in other professions, such as running government agencies and non-profit organizations. With your legal knowledge, you can even start your own nonprofit! GGU alumni have gone on to become executive directors and founders of nonprofit organizations such as the AIDS Legal Referral Panel.
9. Businesses And Law Firms Committed To Inclusion And Diversity
Golden Gate University’s Social Justice and Public Interest Law Career track exists for students who want to make the world a better, more just place. In business, that translates to making the workplace more equitable by committing to diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion are better for businesses and law firms. Despite diversity and inclusion benefiting businesses and law firms, there is still plenty of latent inequality. Law graduates committed to the importance of workplace DEI is a definitive step towards addressing that issue.
10. Public Office
While being a lawyer is not a requirement to building professional organizations that better reflect the composition of the communities they serve hold public office, it helps immensely. The ability to analyze the policies in place, find the gaps, perform legal research, and create something better for the common good is a skill set that our Social Justice and Public Interest Law career track prepares you for.
The JD Flex Program at GGU Opens Doors
Outside of those the specialized career tracks GGU offers, a standard Juris Doctor degree gives you a plethora of options for your career as a law school graduate. In addition, our hybrid JD Flex program gives you the best of online and on-campus learning so you get a schedule that fits your life. Contact our admissions office today to find out more.