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Forget law practice. Half of surveyed prelaw students plan to use law degree in nontraditional jobs

Posted Apr 15, 2013 5:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Think a JD is only for law practice? If so, about 100 prelaw students disagree with you.

Half of more than 200 prelaw students responding to a survey by Kaplan Test Prep said they plan to use their law degree in a non-traditional legal field, according to a press release. Forty-three percent said they plan to use their law degree to pursue a job in the business world.

Among the students who planned to use their law degree in nontraditional fields, 58 percent said the current job market was a factor in their decision. Statistics paint a bleak picture of employment. A recent ABA report found that only 56 percent of 2012 law grads had found full-time, long-term jobs that required bar passage.

Other results:

• Seventy-one percent said the primary reason they are applying to law school is “to go into a career I am passionate about.” Only 5 percent identified potential pay as the primary reason.

• Forty-three percent said they are likely to postpone or alter their plans to attend law school if they don’t get the financial aid package they were hoping for.

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