Remember back in May when there was much ado about whether law degrees were worth it? Maybe not, but the experience was seared into my memory when there were some very loud objections to my proclamation that you can do anything with a law degree. To help bolster my claim, I even created a nifty list of 101 possible things you could do with a law degree.
For the jaded few that are still unconvinced, I have more evidence for you. Exhibit A: Catalina Girald.
Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.
Catalina Girald's Career Change
Catalina Girald spent four years at the biggest of BigLaw as an associate at Skadden, LLP. Finding her work unfulfilling, she enrolled in some fashion classes while still working at Skadden. Wanting to pursue a career in fashion, she left the firm and earned an MBA at Stanford. Afterward, she started an online shopping site, but still found that unfulfilling.
Girald took a break and came back with a new idea, and a longing to not only start her own lingerie line, but also to empower and help women. She now is the designer of Naja, an affordable luxury lingerie, which also gives back to women around the world. She trains and employs women in volatile countries, giving single mothers a chance to earn a living.
How Being a Lawyer Helped in Her New Career
In an interview with Fast Company, Girald reflected on her experiences as an attorney. She stated, "To be a lingerie designer and a CEO at the same time is something really unusual ... I wouldn't have been able to do that if I hadn't [gone to law school or business school]." She added that, "[Being a lawyer taught me] I can push myself to do things that I didn't know were possible.
That Magic Something
As you can see, sometimes your law degree doesn't come into play in a traditional sense -- but it's what you learned earning the degree that will propel you into your next career. Ultimately, if you're the type of person who just likes predictability, going to work and getting your assignments, I'm not sure if you could do something else with your law degree. It's the people that are so fundamentally impassioned and inspired to learn and try new things that will have the most success switching careers.
- 99 Things to Do With Your JD, Besides Practice Law (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)
- How Else to Use a Law Degree: 5 Fun, Non-Lawyer Careers (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)
- Kill Law School? This Guy Might be On (to) Something (FindLaw's Greedy Associates Blog)