Speaking to a group of Georgetown University law students CEO of Novus Law, Raymond Bayley, said non-lawyer ownership of law firms coming through Britain, the suggestion to allow non-lawyers to handle certain legal work by the American Bar Association and changes to compensation models are just some of the issues changes facing the industry.
"The industry and the profession has an obligation to help those in the profession, but this is a situation where we are in an environment that is so radically different than the past, lawyers have to take ground-level responsibility for where they are going," Bayley said, reports The Legal Intelligencer.
This means students who have completed a law degree expecting to become a solicitor or barrister might have to look for other career alternatives and for those already in the industry, a career transition.
David Behrend, from Career Planning Services for Lawyers, said he is helping lawyers find alternative uses for their law degrees and directing them into new industries.
Lawyers have opened business franchises, led nonprofits and joined the Peace Corps, he said.
The toughest obstacle for lawyers and graduates is shedding the tunnel vision that often plagues the industry, claims Behrend, particularly when they are specialists and view their skill sets as limited to one area.
There are job openings out there, but with several applicants vying for each spot, law graduates will need to look for opportunities or create their own. That might mean taking advantage of their bachelor's degrees, being more willing to take on two part-time jobs or a position with an emerging company that might bring with it more risk.