Q. As an aspiring lawyer, I enjoyed reading Mark Bain’s post about his job at a premier law firm. He’s lucky that he doesn’t have a law degree since it’s been a lot harder for me to land a job in my desired profession. The recent New York Times article about the grim prospects for lawyers has me reassessing my career goals and I’m most curious about PR/marketing. Please share any recommendations on how to proceed in making such a shift in my career goal. -JS
A. You’re rightly concerned about the job prospects for recent law grads. Most experts indicate the tight job market for new lawyers will continue for the next two or three years. Job growth in PR, advertising and marketing is outpacing the legal profession but competition for entry-level positions is especially keen, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of individuals who switched to PR after obtaining law degrees. Their transitions weren’t always easy. And, unless you you have prior PR experience or specific legal background of interest to a prospective employer, be prepared to start as an intern or in an entry level position.
I asked Mark Bain for his thoughts on your question and he made the following points:
- First, you have to think about what attracted you to law in the first place.
- PR/marketing can be fulfilling, but it will not offer the kinds of compensation found in law or other professions.
- Beyond compensation, think about other factors–your skills, the work you enjoy most, desired lifestyle, etc.
- Strongly consider pairing PR/marketing studies with a business degree.
Mark’s last point is important advice if you attempt a move from law to PR without prior PR experience. By taking courses in PR or marketing you’ll become more comfortable with a career move in that direction, plus it demonstrates more than passing interest to prospective employers.