Resources for researching legal careers

Books and websites are great, but they're no substitute for conversations with actual attorneys.

There are a number of published resources for finding out more about different legal careers—so many that it would be impossible to list them all.  But here are a few that we’ve found especially helpful:

Online resources

NALP: The National Association of Legal Career Professionals
NALP is the professional association for career services and placement officials in law schools.  The organization collects and disseminates the most extensive, reliable and up to date information on legal employment. NALP is so critical to the exploration of legal careers that I’d go so far as to suggest that if you haven’t spent some time on its website, you haven’t adequately researched whether to go to law school. PSJD is NALP’s initiative to support those going into public service or public interest law. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics
This division of the federal Department of Labor is the agency charged with monitoring labor markets and employment statistics.  The specific page linked to here gives up to date information about the market for legal employment.

DiscoverLaw
DiscoverLaw is an LSAC initiative aimed at increasing the diversity of the legal profession. They have produced a series of short videos featuring attorneys talking about their chosen fields of law.

I Am the Law
This podcast produced by Law School Transparency features regular interviews with practicing attorneys, providing information about what they do on a regular basis. As of May 2015, there were 13 episodes, with a new season launching soon.

Books
Please note that while I’ve linked to these books’ listings on Amazon, that is only so that you can explore their content further.  It is not an endorsement of Amazon.  Many of these books can be found in the W.E.B. Dubois Library here on campus or other bookstores/websites.

Deborah Schneider, Should You Really Be a Lawyer?: The Guide to Smart Career Choices Before, During & After Law School
An excellent book that really takes you through the decision-making process about legal careers. 

NALP, The Official Guide to Legal Specialties
This is a great introduction to various legal fields, giving a good idea of the actual work lawyers in such fields do, as well as some educated guesses on future employment opportunities.

Gary Munneke, Careers in Law
Very basic overview of the legal profession and various career paths. 

Nancy Levit & Douglas O. Linder, The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law
There is a high misery quotient among practicing attorneys.  This book is exploring the underlying reasons for that widespread discontent and helping those interested in pursuing legal careers find more satisfaction in their work.